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Environment campaigners call for more information over Pembroke Dock oily sludge electricity plans

First published in Milford Mercury news

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are calling for greater clarity in a planning application for a facility at Pembroke Dock to convert oily sludge into electricity.

The planning application, submitted to Pembrokeshire County Council by Cardiff-based Barcud Energy Ltd, is for a 2,613sqm development at Waterloo Industrial Estate on land owned by Ledwood Mechanical Engineering Ltd.

According to planning documents, the process involves converting “residual product” from the Pembrokeshire oil refinery industry into gas to “generate low carbon electricity” for the National Grid.

Proposals include the construction of a 699sqm pyrolysis building, a 254sqm gas turbine building, a gas storage silo and a 40m high stack. The facility could generate up to 6MW and create 12 full-time jobs.

Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth objects to the application because it is “so obscurely described, there is a risk that many members of the public will not understand what the applicant intends to build - is it a power station or an incinerator?”

Campaigners argue that “at the very least ‘oil burning power generating plant’” should be included in the application’s title.

The group’s spokesman Eleanor Clegg said: “We believe it is essential that this application be re-submitted with the nature of the development much more clearly declared in its title to ensure that our democratic rights are upheld.

“We fear that members of the public have not been formally notified by this planning application regarding what is actually proposed, thus they will not be alerted to the possibility of aspects of this development to which they could well raise objections – for example, flue stacks and the emissions from them; heat rejection cooling towers; noise; vehicle movements, especially those associated with bringing fuel to site; risks associated with the bulk storage of fuel.”

Speaking as a resident only, Pembroke Dock town councillor Margaret Murton said the application was “really quite frightening”.

She said: “I’m sick of them dumping dirty stuff on Pembroke Dock, like Pembroke Dock doesn’t matter.”

Cllr Murton said she was concerned about the inappropriate site, potential pollution and transportation issues.

“It’s just not on - it’s right on the edge of town. It’s part of the town,” she added.

The deadline for comments is February 26.

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