THE leader of Vale of Glamorgan Council has slammed what he has described as the "scaremongering" and "lies" surrounding the Biomass plant being constructed on Barry docks.

In a lengthy, hard-hitting statement Cllr Moore said that the "unfounded rumours" regarding how the plant will operate and how it came to receive planning permission were "malicious and are deplorable" and that "those spreading them should be absolutely ashamed of themselves".

Planning permission has already been granted for Biomass UK No.2 Ltd to build the gasification plant on Barry docks. Natural Resources Wales is currently consulting before making a decision on granting a licence for the operation of the plant.

In recent weeks the campaign against the plant has ramped up, with local groups and Barry Town Council seeking to prevent the plans from coming to fruition.

At a meeting last week Barry Town Council agreed to use £10,000 to fund an expert to help them put their objections to Natural Resources Wales

Cllr Neil Moore has condemned what he called "nonsense" and "lies" that are "currently emanating from either Plaid Cymru or Friends of the Earth".

Cllr Moore described some of the reports which have surfaced as "scaremongering at the worse level I have ever seen" which is "causing a great distress to very many people".

Leader of the Plaid group on Barry Town Council Shirley Hodges said she was "shocked" by Cllr Moore’s "attitude".

She said: "If Labour truly think the incinerator is fine then they are dysfunctional. The whole thing is barking mad.”

Friends of the Earth spokesman Max Wallis said: "“I think Cllr Moore should check his facts. For him to accuse us of lying is beyond.”

In a statement to the Barry & District News he said: "There have been many untruths told and ‘alternative facts’ seem to be spreading unabated.

"There is no truth to the fact that there will be smoke pluming from the energy recovery plant currently being built on Woodham Road in Barry Docks.

"It is also pertinent to confirm that it is not an incinerator. It is a gasification plant and is an energy recovery facility.

"I have carried our research and that research indicates that it will not belch out smoke and fumes, carcinogenic or otherwise.

"Gasification plants have been in existence for many years and operated in many countries without any issues."

Cllr Moore added that gasification is a process that transforms materials into other forms of energy without actually burning it.

Instead, gasification converts solid and liquid waste materials into a gas through a chemical reaction.

Cllr Moore said he was also keen to dispel some of the myths which have spread regarding how the plant came to receive planning permission.

He said: "I also consider this to be a political stunt and people are ashamedly trying to pretend that some councillors on the Vale of Glamorgan Council are to blame for voting for this so-called incinerator. It is also alleged that all Labour councillors voted for it and this is categorically incorrect.

"Perhaps it would also be apt to give the facts on the way in which this plant was approved."

Cllr Moore explained that the council originally refused plans for a "wood-fuelled renewable energy plant" in July 2009.

An appeal against the decision was upheld by the Welsh Assembly, resulting in "substantial costs against the council".

A second application was submitted in January 2015 which sought to amend the development previously approved on appeal. This application was for the gasification facility.

Cllr Moore said: "The planning committee fully considered all relevant material, including the previous appeal on the site, where it was determined that no Environmental Impact Assessment was required.

"This was confirmed by Welsh Government in the case of the last application, who informed Friends of the Earth directly and that the council was free to determine the application.

"It should also be noted that there is no third-party right of appeal against the granting of planning permission.

"Given the previous planning history of the site and this development, it is clear that all matters were fully considered prior to the council determining the planning application.

Speaking about the ongoing consultation, he said: "I understand that the developer is seeking consent for the environmental permit from National Resources Wales, which is an entirely separate process and one that the Council has no involvement in.

"We are aware that NRW are carrying out a consultation process until May 8, so any concerns about this matter should be addressed to them before that deadline."