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Public asked for views on Deeside waste plant proposals

LEADERS of a controversial project which could see a waste-burning facility built in Deeside say rubbish from across North Wales could be brought into Flintshire by train.

Public consultation is now taking place over the £142m North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) – and people across the county are being asked to speak up and share their views.

The new facility, which is expected to be built on Deeside Industrial Park, will deal with left-over rubbish – that which cannot be recycled or composted – from across the region.

And project bosses say the views of people living in Flintshire are vital in the decision-making process.

NWRWTP manager Steffan Owen told the Chronicle: “We have produced a leaflet and want as many people as possible to respond to the questions in it so we know what they want as we move forward with the project.”

The leaflets ask people for their views on recycling, transporting the waste by rail and how the project team should raise awareness of its plans.

“There are a lot of things to think about,” said Mr Owen.

“Concerns have been raised about the impact of additional traffic on the A55 if Deeside was chosen as the site of this facility, so we’re asking people what they think of using rail as part of the plans.”

Despite concerns over what impact emissions from a waste treatment plant could have on the environment, and on people, Mr Owen said the facility could benefit the community and create jobs.

“The solution could supply heat to local businesses and public buildings, or fund community initiatives,” he said.

“Waste treatment facilities require a high level of technology and engineering know-how these days. There is the potential of good jobs being available. If it is what people want we can make sure the successful bidder provides training and apprenticeship opportunities.”

Community leaders voiced their concerns about the project when an outline business case for the NWRWTP was submitted to the Welsh Assembly Government naming only Deeside as a potential location.

Connah’s Quay councillors Bernie Attridge and Aaron Shotton have vowed they will campaign tirelessly to ensure a waste-burning facility is not dumped on their doorstep.

Cllr Attridge said: “Until I see evidence to say incinerators are not harmful I will keep on fighting.”

But Mr Owen is keen to point out nothing has been decided in terms of the location of the plant.

“The partnership made a site in Deeside Industrial Park available to the companies bidding for the contract, however bidders have been free to propose other sites and the partnership is still seeking to secure a second site in the partnership area.

“Yes, there is a possibility that it could be located in Deeside, we can’t rule it out at this stage. But it is not a done deal.”

The NWRWTP is a partnership between Flintshire, Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire and Gwynedd councils. The team recently earmarked land in Anglesey as a second possible location.

Three waste management companies have been shortlisted for the lucrative contract and will soon submit detailed bids for evaluation. It is thought the preferred bidder will be appointed by 2013.

Consultation leaflets are available and people can also visit www.nwrwtp.org to submit their opinions. Public drop-in sessions are planned for the summer, but details are yet to be finalised.