THE Aviva 'incinerator' currently under construction in Barry can still be stopped, according to South Wales AM Andrew RT Davies.

Mr Davies has called on the Welsh Government to intervene, saying they have authority to effectively block Aviva's application for an environmental permit.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is currently examining the firm's application, which must be approved before operations on the site can begin. If the application is refused, then the plant will not be able to begin functioning.

While NRW are responsible for making a formal decision on the application, the regulations governing it allow government ministers to make a direction to the organisation if they choose to. Should this option be exercised, NRW would have no choice but to comply with the minister's request, effectively giving the government a veto over the application.

Mr Davies, who has now written to the cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, recently met with members of the Docks Incinerator Action Group – DIAG – led by Dennis Clarke.

Mr Davies said: “People from across Barry and beyond are rightly concerned by the impacts the incinerator will have on the town.

“It may be under construction – but it does not yet have a permit to operate – and the cabinet secretary has the power to stop it being granted.

“I’ve therefore written to her asking her to intervene and use her powers to put a stop to this damaging project.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said that it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter whilst NRW were carrying out their assessment, and would not be drawn as to whether the use of any such direction would be considered.

“Natural Resources Wales is currently determining an application for an environmental permit for the operation of a biomass energy plant within the Barry Docks regeneration area.

“NRW must give due consideration to all representations made by interested parties before making their decision. If NRW is minded to approve the permit application, it will then carry out a further public consultation.

“It would not be appropriate for the Welsh Government to comment further on an ongoing permit application determination by NRW.”