DESPITE heavy local opposition, including fears about flooding and the size of the building, approval has been given to a bulk recycling facility at Abermule, near Newtown.

The planning application which included an outline application for business units made by Powys County Council (PCC) itself was passed by just one vote, by its planning committee.

Objectors from Abermule were given time to speak in front of the committee and said that the recycling builiding's height of 13.4m would have a detrimental effect on the landscape.

They pointed out that the business park had been earmarked by the Welsh Government for prestige developments when it was originally built a decade ago.

Nigel Williams, who spoke against the project, said: "This building will be higher than three double decker buses and Nelson's Column it's bound to have a visual impact.

"I took some tourists to Dolforwyn Castle, they were amazed that this view will have a hideous carbuncle totally out of place with the area."

He claimed glass bottles being unloaded would create noise pollution, that this area suffered from flooding and that the views of a pre-application consultation had not been considered describing it as just a "box ticking exercise."

PCC agent Barry Davies, explaining that the site had been included in the Local Development Plan (LDP) as one where recycling developments could be built.

Mr Davies said: "Powys should be applauded for buying the site from Welsh Government that has stayed dormant for too long."

Ashley Collins, PCC Waste Services Manager, added: "We need the site because of very stringent (recycling) targets set by The Welsh Government.

"60 per-cent by 2020, we need to get to 70 per-cent by 2025 and we may need to get to 80 per-cent, and that will be very challenging.

"These are valuable materials we are dealing with and we need to have central bases to offload the material.

"Abermule is a strategic location, between two of the biggest settlements in Montgomeryshire (Welshpool and Newtown.)"

Cllr Elwyn Vaughan who proposed turning the application down, said: "The field next door between the road and railway is a sea of water in the winter, anyone who drives between Welshpool and Newtown will know that.

"The size of the building is not going to just fade into the landscape.

"There is a strategy from Welsh Government to publicise the old Welsh castles, such as nearby Dolforwyn, and this looks like something from the moon."

Cllr Linda Corfield, suggested the committee inspect a similar sized building, built at the Buttington Cross Enterprise Park.

"That building looks very imposing and sticks out like a sore thumb," said Cllr Corfield.

Committee vice-chairman, Cllr E Michael Jones, said: "This is necessary and we have these targets to meet.

"It can be problematic, we have no option but to go forward with this,"

Cllr Huw Williams added that he was ready to back the application as he noted the community council had not objected to it.

Following the meeting, Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Highways, Recycling and Assets, said: “I’m delighted that this application has been approved.

"This decision will allow us to develop this well-located site so that we can provide opportunities for existing businesses to expand and attract new enterprises to the county."

It is expected that building work will start in early 2019.