The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council is being taken to a judicial review tomorrow in a legal action over a planning decision which could cost the authority – and its council tax payers – many thousands of pounds .
In Cardiff High Court a judicial review is due to begin into the Vale Council’s controversial decision to permit 70,000 tonnes of furnace ash from the Viridor incinerator in East Moors, Cardiff to be transported to Barry docklands for processing every year.
The incinerator burns non-recyclable domestic waste collected as refuse in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and various other local councils in South Wales – thereby reducing the amount of material that would otherwise have to go to landfill. It’s the remaining ash which the Vale Council had agreed to allow to be transported by lorry from Cardiff through Dinas Powys to Barry docklands.
The preferred route for the ash-carrying lorries is along the A4055 via the Baron’s Court junction at Cogan, the Penlan Road junction , the three arm Redlands Road junction and on through Dinas Powys .Until the legal action is settled this ash is having to be carted to Oxfordshire to be disposed of.
Tomorrow’s judicial review [a means of challenging legal decisions made by public bodies] has been initiated in the name of a Barry resident Amanda Surringer who – because she is in receipt of benefits – is on legal aid and therefore only liable to pay 50% of the costs should the review rule against her. She is being supported financially by the “Stop Barry Ash Dump Campaign” which has raised £5,000 to take on the Vale Council.
If the review finds against the Vale of Glamorgan Council, the local authority will have to pay all its own costs plus those of Ms Surringer . The council is said already to have turned down an opportunity to settle out of court.
Shirley Taylor (the treasurer of the Action Group) says “Our challenge is not simply on behalf of local residents, but to save Barry from the long-term environmental threat from incinerator ash, which is high in toxic metals. Its dust will be picked up in the high winds that sweep across the open dockland. The ash comes from Viridor’s incinerator in Cardiff. Nearby sites in the East Moors were dropped because of the risks of pollution to wildlife there. Choosing instead a site in Barry surrounded by homes is crazy!”