A WELSH Government minister has refused a request to block Aviva's environmental permit application for the Barry Docks 'incinerator'.

South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies had written to the cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, calling on to her to direct National Resources Wales (NRW) – who are currently considering the plant's permit application – to veto the request.

But Ms Griffiths said it would be neither "necessary or appropriate" for her to issue such a direction, given NRW's expertise and knowledge of environmental considerations.

Describing the move as a 'snub' to the people of Barry, Mr Davies called on members of the public to carry on fighting efforts to make the gasification facility operational.

At a public meeting hosted by the Docks Incinerator Action Group (DIAG) last week, Mr Davies said that "overwhelming public pressure" could still potentially force ministers into a u-turn.

"It is disappointing – but on past history perhaps not surprising – that the cabinet secretary has refused to step in and stand up for Barry," said Mr Davies.

"It is clear residents are unhappy about the way NRW have handled the environmental permit application – and I have emphasised this to the cabinet secretary in written correspondence.

"Sadly, it appears she has chosen to ignore these concerns, despite the excellent work DIAG and others have done to highlight the issues.

"This may be a setback, but it is not the time to give up. There is still time to stop the project.

"The Welsh Government may have snubbed Barry yet again – but constant and public pressure can force them to backtrack and support local people."

Meanwhile, members of DIAG have complained that the start of the latest public consultation period, which began last Monday (November 27), has been poorly handled by NRW.

In a statement, a spokesman for the group said that documents were not made available by NRW until just before 5pm that day, while information on the regulator's website was limited until later in the week.

They also added that two days into the consultation period, no information at all was available from the NRW offices, Barry Library, or at the Barry Town Council offices.

"These are the most recent examples of NRW’s offhand way of dealing with the people of Barry during the last 12 months," said the spokesman.

"It doesn’t bode well for the future if NRW issues a full permit to operate."

The consultation period is set to conclude on Monday, January 22, 2018.