Local politicians have hailed the decision made by Natural Resources Wales to reject a permit application for a waste plant at Nine Mile Point Industrial Estate.
Islwyn’s Assembly Member, Rhianon Passmore, MP, Chris Evans, joined local councillors Jan Jones and Phillipa Marsden, along with campaigners from The Lower Sirhowy Valley Residents Group last year in objecting to the proposed plant in Cwmfelinfach.
On Monday January 9, the environmental body confirmed it had refused the application made by the plant’s operator, Hazrem Environmental Ltd, citing concerns over the potential health risks for nearby residents.
Islwyn AM, Rhianon Passmore said: “I am delighted that the correct decision has been made by Natural Resources Wales. The refusal to grant a permit for a waste treatment facility in Cwmfelinfach will help to safeguard and protect our communities from increases in nitrogen dioxide emissions.
“I wish to pay tribute to the hard work and determination of Labour councillors Jan Jones and Philippa Marsden, pharmacist Alan Sharp and the local action group, The Lower Sirhowy Valley Residents Group. Collectively they have worked with great determination to ensure the people’s voices have been heard.
“Such true and fighting community spirit is a valuable reminder of what binds our communities in Islwyn together. It has been a privilege, for me as their Assembly Member, to campaign alongside them in the fight to ensure the valley remains green for themselves and future generations.”
Mr Evans, the constituency MP, added: “I would like to commend the efforts of Ynysddu Labour councillors Jan and Philippa and the Lower Sirhowy Valley Residents Group. From day one they have fought very hard to protect the health and wellbeing of local residents.
“I am very pleased that Natural Resources Wales have responded to concerns raised about the planned recycling plant about the pollution it would have created. The number one concern has always been to protect residents’ health.
“This is undoubtedly an important victory for local residents and councillors on behalf of their local community, and just goes to show that community-led campaigns can and do make all the difference.”
Ynysddu Labour councillor Jan Jones said: “The whole valley is delighted at this news. The community has come together to fight this threat and are delighted with this news. We all believe it was in the wrong place and would have posed a threat the health of all those living in the valley.
“It should never have been passed in planning in the first place. We have been proved right.”