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Villagers offered glimmer of hope in fight against recycling site

Created on 05/12/2018 @ 13:09
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Residents in Abermule have been told that if they can find an alternative site for a bulking waste facility planned for their village, then Powys County Council might consider it.

The offer came at the end of last night's meeting between residents, councillors and members of the county council's Cabinet.

Villagers packed into the community centre to discuss the bulking waste facility that has been given planning permission for the outskirts of Abermule.

Powys County  Council started the evening with the Director of Environment, Nigel Brinn, giving a presentation which explained the process that the council had been through to reach the current stage.

Mr Brinn said that meeting Welsh Government recycling targets was driving the decision to build the facility with Powys expected to reach 70 per cent recycling rates by 2024/25.

Mr Brinn also said that the site had been earmarked for recycling right from when the deal to buy the enterprise park had been done with the Welsh Government.

New vehicles to bring the to bring the glass, plastic, paper and cardboard to be collected and readied for transport to re-processors elsewhere would also be bought.

Abermule Communities Together member Jeff Mathews and Steve Meadowcroft gave their own presentations pointing out the history of the site.

The meeting, chaired by Dolforwyn county councillor Gareth Pugh, who represents Abermule, was then opened up for questions.

The Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, and cabinet members Cllr Phyl Davies and Cllr Aled Davies were told that the village is 100 per cent against the facility.

They and Mr Brinn stuck to the explanations that have been given for months before finally conceding some ground at the end after Cllr Pugh said that the protests would “not be going away”.

Cllr Phyl Davies, portfolio holder for Highways Recycling and Assets, said: “The planning has been passed, we have to build a site. However, work has not started yet started to build it.

“We are committed to this project and need to build a facility in a suitable location and we believe this is a suitable location.

“If this community can find a similar alternative location and suitable access that would come on budget to what we have to build this and in a timely manner, then we will listen to that.”

Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, added: “We can continue discussions, we may look at other sites, but there would be cost implications, but we are happy to continue discussions.”

Jeff Mathews, of Abermule Communities Together, said after the meeting: “There, at the end of the meeting, there was a thin sliver of hope. We need to come up with another site. Not easy and we will work on it.

“The Cabinet members now see the strength of feeling. They see that we will not give in."

Photo: Councillors and community leaders at the meeting

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