IT COULD be crunch time for Barry’s biomass burner, with a planning application to light it up due to be discussed by Vale Council today.

Probably one of the most critical discussions in the future of Barry’s biomass burner will take place Thursday, February 22, when the Vale Council planning committee meet at 4pm.

Under part one section nine of the meeting, application 2023/00032/FUL - Full planning permission for development comprising a wood-fired renewable energy plant and associated structures; and application 2023/00033/FUL - Retrospective planning permission for external storage, vehicle turning and vehicle layover, and perimeter fencing for use in association with the adjacent renewable energy plant, will both be discussed.

Opposition group the Docks Incinerator Action Group (DIAG) has sent a list of concerns they have about the lighting up, including dust concerns, flood risks and, the big one, pollution.

Barry And District News: Is Barry's biomass burner about to start up?Is Barry's biomass burner about to start up? (Image: DIAG)

Read more on Barry's biomass incinerator:

The contentious Barry biomass incinerator power plant

It has not been the smoothest start for Barry’s biomass power plant.

On Woodham Road, the plant will ‘gasify’ wood to generate electricity for around 23,000 homes by heating the wood to high temperatures.

This is something that has caused huge contention, particularly with environmental groups.

One of the loudest voices is DIAG, which has sent a briefing note to councillors ahead of February 22’s meeting, containing 16 briefs highlighting only some of their objections.

Those objections include an increase in emissions in the area, air quality risks, and the plant sucking up water from the mains in an area which already has notoriously low water pressure.

Builders began constructing the biomass incinerator all the way back in 2016, and despite having burnt diesel in patches, it’s believed the burner has still not burnt what it was built to burn – wood.

Barry And District News: There are many concerns about the affect of the incinerator on the local areaThere are many concerns about the affect of the incinerator on the local area (Image: DIAG)

In the latest development, Vale Council was ordered to pay legal costs on an appeal lodged by the owners of the biomass incinerator.

They challenged the council’s enforcement action on the plant which was deemed “unnecessary, incorrect, and excessive”.

Despite this, it seems the council is still prepared to fight Barry’s biomass burner being lit.

A council spokesperson previously said: “Though the 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.”