Council declines to withdraw Barry Biomass demolition order

Vale of Glamorgan council has said it has “declined a request” from Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) to withdraw the demolition order it issued against the Barry Biomass plant in September 2021.

The gasifier has a planned capacity of 86,000 tonnes per year

In 2021, the planning committee of Vale of Glamorgan council unanimously agreed it would look to issue a demolition order due to “discrepancies between the approved elevation and site layout plans”, which the council noted include machine housing, an external conveyor, and a substation. The council says it did not grant consent for any of these elements.

The operators of the Barry Biomass plant in South Wales questioned this decision soon after, saying the notice against the 86,000 tonnes per year capacity waste wood gasifier was “disproportionate considering the minor nature of the structures in question” (see letsrecycle.com story).

After taking the issue to the Welsh government, PEDW had requested the council withdraw the notice.

However, the council has said this has been turned down.

‘Considering options’

A council spokesperson has said: “At the time of issue, the notice was accurate based on available information, but new evidence indicates it needs to be altered to accurately reflect the planning breaches that have taken place.

“The council has offered to make the necessary changes, but PEDW has stated it is not possible to amend the notice to this extent.

“We are very disappointed with this stance given PEDW has the power to alter a Notice and legal advice suggests it can be amended in the way the council proposes.

“It is also frustrating that PEDW did not make its position clear in earlier correspondence when it was possible to do so.

“The council is aware of the strength of public feeling regarding this matter and has informed PEDW that it will not be withdrawing the notice. Should it subsequently by judged invalid, we will consider all options regarding further enforcement.”


The plant has a long history in the area.

It was first granted planning permission in 2010, but its construction did not begin until 2016. In 2018, NRW granted it an environmental permit.

In the early phases of commissioning, the plant was issued with a warning by NRW for “several breaches” of the permit.

In December, when the plant was out of action for nine months, Barry Biomass said it had to “reconstruct” the fire tank at the site due to the prolonged period of non-use.

Barry Biomass is owned by an investment fund and is managed by Aviva Investors on its behalf.

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