CONCERNS that Powys County Council could be breaching planning permission conditions at an Abermule site should be raised with the police.

This is the advice given to villagers by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Protestors from Abermule Communities Together (ACT) have been keeping an eye on the business park site.

At the moment it is in an unkempt state which means that endangered species such as Great Crested Newts could be back on the site.

Members of ACT say they believe that the authority could have breached parts of legal conditions in place to deal with the newts.

And to check they believe that PCC will need to do a precise 1m square by 1m square cut of the grass there, overseen by a trained ecologist.

After every cut, the ecologist would need to check for endangered species before allowing the work to continue.

The long-drawn out process would cost in the region of £55,000.

PCC  denies that this is the case and says it has no need for a specialist contractor to cut the grass there.

Mr Pearce said: “We felt compelled to write to NRW over poor site ‘house-keeping’ and the failure to comply with documents stipulated in the planning conditions which could also mean that they have breached the environmental licence.”

“The height of the grass and vegetation is a lot more than 150 mm and this causes concerns that Great Crested Newts  may be present on the site, but also for the well-being of other species of fauna in general, in particular, if or when the cutting down of the vegetation might occur.”

NRW, Senior Officer Species Permitting, Carys Roberts said:  “Breach of derogation licence condition is an offence under the provisions of Regulation 60 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 .

“The police are the relevant enforcement body in respect of non-compliance of licence conditions.”

A spokesperson for PCC said: “We are not aware of any reports of newts on the site at Abermule. NRW has received a complaint from a member of the community stating a breach of the licence, which was in relation to the length of the grass.

“Our ecologist has visited the site and responded to NRW.”

“There is no requirement for a specialist contractor to cut the grass as described.

“A quote has been accepted to carry out the required works, which will be in the region of £4,000.”

In May the PCC cabinet voted unanimously in favour of the £4 million project.

PCC has stressed  that the facility is to help the authority deal with hitting the Welsh Government recycling targets of 70 per cent by 2024/25.

It believes the recycling bulking facility is “essential to maximise the efficiency” of the collection vehicles and is “ideally located between the two main population centres of North Powys,” Welshpool and Newtown.