NATURAL Resources Wales (NRW) has announced it is intending on taking a "draft decision" to grant a permit for the controversial incinerator on Barry dock.

Jane Hutt AM told the Barry & District News that at a meeting held in Barry last night, an NRW representative confirmed that they are "minded to take a draft decision to grant an environmental permit with conditions” regarding the Biomass plant.

Members of the Docks Incinerator Action Group (DIAG), who are opposing the proposal to allow Biomass UK No.2 Ltd to operate the £50m 'gasification' plant on Barry Dock, were informed of the development at a meeting at Castleland community centre on Monday, November 13.

Vale AM Jane Hutt expressed her “deep disappointment” following the meeting attended by chairwoman of NRW Diane McCrea and senior NRW officers John Hogg and Nadia de Longhi.

Campaigners called for an extended consultation period on the draft decision document and draft permit conditions.

NRW agreed to consider this request and agreed to attend a public meeting to hear the views of Barry residents.

Ms Hutt said: “The evidence against the granting of an environmental permit to Biomass is overwhelming.

"DIAG has coordinated a significant campaign representing the views and concerns of the people of Barry with cross party backing from elected representatives.

“NRW has repeatedly questioned Biomass on their permit application with unsatisfactory replies which are all in the public domain.

"This next stage of consultation on a ‘draft decision’ requires a robust response with an extended consultation of at least eight to 10 weeks and I will play my part in contributing to this.

"It is important for people to know that the environmental permit has not yet been granted and we will continue to oppose it every step of the way.”

Friends of the Earth, Barry and Vale, representative Max Wallis added: “As some key objections are still unaddressed, it appears that NRW has lost patience.

"They declared they have sufficient information to license the plant to operate.

"We replied, as an example, that they have no information on how the incinerator furnace and electrical controls would react to major flooding.

"With other gaps and inconsistencies, this lays the NRW wide open to legal challenges, should the community go for it.”

Nadia De Longhi, Operations Manager from NRW said: “We know there has been a lot of concern about this facility and I want to reassure the local community that we would only grant a permit if we were sure that the applicant can meet the strict standard required by the permit.

“We have closely scrutinised the application, and where we’ve needed to, we’ve asked for more detail and clarification to help us reach this decision.

“When the consultation starts, we’ll be happy to consider any new evidence or information that is relevant to our decision.”