Aviva submits environmental statement in appeal to save controversial Barry Biomass plant

Multinational insurance giant Aviva has submitted a long-delayed environmental statement (ES) in its appeal against a decision that could see its controversial biomass plant in Wales brought down

Aviva is appealing a decision made by Vale of Glamorgan Council, which ruled that the beleaguered facility in Barry, on the coast of south Wales, was not built in accordance with its planning consent, and should be torn down. 

The multinational had previously attempted to delay the deadline for submitting the ES, but had its request rejected by Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW), who said a “lengthy extension would not be in the interests of an effective enforcement system”.

In a newsletter published earlier this week, Barry Biomass said it was “committed to resolving its appeal on the enforcement notice as quickly as possible”. 

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The facility has faced fierce opposition from local groups, who have been trying to stop the project going ahead since 2008. 

Paul Robertson, chair of the Docks Incinerator Action Group (DIAG) told Welsh outlet, The National, “it’s about time that a proper decision was taken”. 

"Deprived areas are always picked on to have these incinerators," he said, adding that “there is plenty of evidence that they're detrimental to physical and mental health not to mention the environment”. 

"They're never put in a leafy suburb, are they? So what does that tell you?"

It has now been more than four years since the Welsh government tweeted it was “minded to direct” that an environmental impact assessment (EAI) needed to be carried out. 

The facility originally gained planning consent from local authority the Vale of Glamorgan Council in 2015, amid a flurry of controversy because it had not undergone an EIA. 

Aviva declined to comment on Robertson's comments.