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D-Day for Abermule recycling facility is next week

 
Created on 15/05/2019 @ 13:42
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Next Tuesday is judgement day for the residents of Abermule when a decision will be made on the controversial bulk recycling facility.

A spokesman for Powys County Council has confirmed that the cabinet is set to discuss and decide whether to go ahead with the £4million bulk recycling facility proposed for the edge of the village.

Protest group – Abermule Communities Together (ACT) is hoping to pack the meeting out.

In the run up to 21 May ACT members are going around the village and contacting villagers in as many ways as possible to get the maximum number of them down to Llandrindod Wells.

ACT vice-chairman, Stephen Meadowcroft said: “We are hoping to get over 100 people there. So we are trying to get our message out to everyone in the village.

“We’re asking people to give up their time for the sake of the village one more time.

“The cabinet need to be reminded that the village is united against this.
At the last full council meeting on May 3, the recycling facility was discussed and rejected by councillors.

This advice will be part of the report on the issue.

Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, said: “Apart from the portfolio holder (Cllr Phyl Davies) – no other members of the cabinet spoke (at the full council).

“Comments (from full council) as well as reports from planning committee, and looking at other sites will all be taken into consideration when cabinet meet to make a final decision.”

The controversial recycling facility has been a hot topic in Powys since it was given planning permission by just one vote in August 2018.

in the aftermath, public meetings, protest marches and picketing of County Hall in Llandrindod Wells, have taken place.

At a public meeting held in Abermule in December 2018, villagers were given time to find an alternative site, which needed to meet the criteria specified by PCC.

And a series of meetings took place this year between PCC and ACT to discuss the sites found and proposed by the group as alternatives.

But, as was pointed out the sites did not meet the criteria.

On 3 May in a presentation to full council, council corporate director for economy and environment, Nigel Brinn, went further.

He pointed out that 12 other sites had been looked at, but all of them were rejected, bringing PCC back to Abermule.

As well as being rejected by councillors on May 3, the scheme has received other set backs.

In January, councillors insisted that transferring money from last year to this years budget for the project, known as a virement, needed to have the wording changed from Abermule Business Park to north Powys.

The virement was finally passed in February.

The scheme, originally called ‘Project Alpha’ goes back several years.
To get the facility to Abermule, PCC had to buy the land owned by The Welsh Government.

In the Local Development Plan, (LDP) adopted last year the “prestige business park” was downgraded so that it would be able to take a recycling facility.

PCC officers state that more consultation than was needed legally took place before the plans went before committee last year.

PCC has stressed  that the facility is to help the authority deal with hitting the Welsh Government recycling targets of 70 per cent by 2024/25.

It believes the recycling bulking facility is “essential to maximise the efficiency” of the collection vehicles and is “ideally located between the two main population centres of North Powys,” Welshpool and Newtown.

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

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