PLANS to expand operations at a waste incinerator in Splott have been approved, despite pleas from councillors and residents to reject the proposal.
The Trident Park Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) applied to the council to increase the amount of rubbish it could burn from 350,000 tonnes a year to 425,000 tonnes, and lift restrictions that currently limits the incinerator to sourcing its black bin bag waste exclusively in the South East Wales area.
In the planning application, Viridor estimated that the changes could result in an extra 17 HGVs travelling to and from the site each day, around three or four an hour, although these are already restricted to using roads that avoid the most built up residential areas.
Speaking at the planning committee meeting in County Hall on Wednesday, Splott councillor Ed Stubbs said: “In the pack it describes where Viridor is located as an industrial area. I live in Splott and I live in a residential area.
“It is too small to delineate. The area is not big enough to talk about it as an industrial area that has no impact on the residential.
“If you come to Splott you will see what is happening is that we have a series of closures of railway bridges which mean that the traffic situation is unusually difficult.
“We are experiencing what I can best describe as traffic chaos over these bridge closures. This application should have minded to talk about the impact on this.”
Viridor, the company who runs the site, claimed that the plant is able to process more waste as the amount of energy it can recover from black bin bag waste is lower than originally estimated.
Residents raised concerns that the proposed changes would see an increase in the number of heavy goods vehicles travelling through the area, creating more noise, disruption and negatively affecting air quality.
A petition signed by 73 residents of Adventurers Quay, an apartment block situated 650m away from the facility, also claimed that publicity for the proposal was inadequate.
The petitioners claim that site notices were not placed in visible enough locations, and were few in number.
In his statement to the Committee, the petitioner, William Guy, a resident of Adventurers Quay, emphasised issues of inadequate public consultation and pollution.
Following the decision, Mr Guy said: “I started the petition because I had received an email from the local council informing me of the expansion proposal by Viridor.
“By chance I found out, some weeks later, that none of my neighbours knew anything at all about it.
“I also could see at that time that the only people who appeared to know anything about it was the local councillor Gretta Marshall and one of the people who works for an organisation next to Trident Park.”
An Environmental Impact Assessment accompanied the planning document and found that the proposed changes would not have any significant adverse effects on traffic, air quality, noise and ecology.