ANOTHER hurdle to Powys County Council’s (PCC) Abermule Recycling Scheme has been cleared.

On Thursday, January 16, at PCC’s planning committee, councillors agreed that condition nine of the planning permission for the bulk recycling facility and business units at Abermule Business Park, an asbestos management plan had been discharged.

Last summer asbestos, that can cause terminal cancer, was found buried at the site and PCC had to change the conditions to have its developers prepare a plan for dealing with the dangerous mineral.

Cllr Gwilym Williams (Conservative – Disserth and Trecoed) asked: “It’s written down what the rules are and what they have to do, are you as a contamination officer going to monitor it?

“If not who will monitor that these are carried out?”

PCC land contamination officer, Dave Jones, said: “Once the details of a mediation strategy is submitted then it’s very much: you’re dealing with professional people and you trust in their opinion and in them to get on with it and be responsible.

“If they find something that’s an issue then they need to come back to the council and report it.

“That’s absolutely the same for 99.99 per cent of the sites we are dealing with.”

Cllr Williams added: “Can you explain who the responsible people are?”

Mr Jones confirmed this would be the contractors who are Jones Bros.

Cllr Williams: “You don’t go occasionally to look at it?

Mr Jones answered: “It’s pretty rare that we actually do that.”

Planning development manager, Peter Morris added that ultimate liability would lie with the landowner, which in this case is PCC.

Cllr Phil Pritchard (Independent – Welshpool) said: “This is the actual site of the Abermule Train Crash where many people lost their lives, PCC should operate with respect.”

Committee chairman, Cllr Karl Lewis added that one of his relatives had been amongst the 17 victims of the train crash which happened on January 26, 1921.

It is expected that building work could be finished by the summer of 2020 and it is set to become operational in the autumn of 2020.

There are questions surrounding what could happen to the business units planned for the site.

In August 2018, planning permission was given for the £4 million scheme.

In May 2019 the PCC cabinet voted unanimously in favour of going ahead with it, despite the full council voting against it.

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.”