VALE Council will have to pay legal costs in regards to an appeal lodged by the owners of a biomass incinerator built in the town. It comes as a local campaign group say the “mistakes” by the council are costing the taxpayer dear.

Vale Council, has to pay ”Biomass UK No.2 Limited” costs for an appeal Biomass lodged against a council enforcement notice placed on the incinerator – which was quashed back in August 2023.

DIAG (Docks Incinerator Action Group), which opposes the incinerator, say they are not just angry at yet more taxpayer’s money being thrown at the project, but they are incensed by the council’s behaviour in the whole process of Barry’s biomass incinerator coming into fruition.

In a damning decisions report by Planning and Environment Decision Wales, they said Biomass UK had “indicated information was provided to the Local Planning Authority both before and after the service of the enforcement notice, which confirmed that enforcement action was unnecessary, that the characterisation of the breach was incorrect, and the requirements were excessive.”

The decision report went on to say, “proper investigation and consideration of the breach by the LPA was lacking”.

The council say that despite the decision, they will continue to take enforcement action against the plant, if needed.

Barry And District News: The biomass burner looming over BarryThe biomass burner looming over Barry (Image: Newsquest)

 ‘We deserve better. Councillors should stop supporting the indefensible. We need a proper review of the behaviour at the Vale’ DIAG

A spokesperson for DIAG claimed Vale Council officers are making mistakes in the process of the development of the incinerator and denying doing so.

The group said: “This sorry state of affairs only comes about because Vale officers consistently denied the incinerator must have an Environmental Impact Assessment. They were wrong.

“We are not surprised by the inspector’s decision.

“The inspector did not make it clear whether the ‘unreasonable behaviour’ of the Vale Council was deliberate or simple incompetence.

“Apparently, the officers could not even draft a legitimate enforcement notice.

“The Vale Council continues to make mistakes in favour of the incinerator.

“Officers and the majority on the Vale Council steadfastly deny the officers have ever made an error even though the rest of the world knows otherwise.

 “We agree with the inspector that the behaviour of the officers is unreasonable but, as always, the only people who pay the penalty are local residents.”

Barry And District News: The council will pay costs to an appeal lodged against an 'unnecessary' enforcement notice on the plantThe council will pay costs to an appeal lodged against an 'unnecessary' enforcement notice on the plant (Image: Newsquest)

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'Enforcement notice could be served if plant becomes operational without planning permission, or if planning application refused’ Vale Council

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “The council is aware of strong local feeling regarding the Barry Biomass plant and is disappointed by Planning and Environment Decision Wales’ decision in respect of the Enforcement Notice served against it.

“It is now for PEDW to submit a breakdown of costs incurred in defence of the previous notice.

“Though PEDW’s decision cannot be appealed, this decision will not stop the council taking further enforcement action against the plant, should the need arise.

“Such circumstances include the plant becoming operational without planning permission, or, in the event that the current planning applications, due to be considered by committee, are refused.”