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Oil waste plans postponed

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Pyrolysis plant: The kind proposed by Barcud Energy Ltd.

Pyrolysis plant: The kind proposed by Barcud Energy Ltd.

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a pyrolysis unit at Waterloo, Pembroke Dock has been withdrawn from consideration by the County Council’s Planning Committee on December 16. The application will be considered at a later date. The planned development at the Ledwood’s Engineering site proposes to generate ‘syngas’ by thermal treatment of oil sludge, and another by-product called filter cake. The gas produced would then be burned to produce electricity to be sold to the National Grid. Oil waste will also be stored on the site. The planning application also refers to the storage and burning of office waste, stating the burning of such waste will be forthcoming from a contract with “a local provider”. It is not clear which sole provider (as specified in the planning application) has either taken an option or committed to such a contract.

Very few organisations in the locality produce the volume of waste that could support such an operation as a sole customer. The applicant is shown as a Mr Peter Beaton of Barcud Energy Ltd, whose address is listed at 110 Whitchurch Road Cardiff, the location of an accountancy practice. Mr Beaton is one of five current directors of the company, which last filed accounts showing it as dormant in June 2013.

The Herald understands that one County Councillor, Pembroke Dock Market Ward representative Brian Hall, has attempted to allay the fears of those who are against the construction of the pyrolysis plant. It is alleged that Mr Hall has personally approached some residents in Waterloo and told them that their environmental concerns are misplaced. Councillor Hall sits on the County Council’s Planning Committee. The development proposed would occupy in excess of 2,100 square metres, process 17,500 tonnes of waste and – it is claimed – create a dozen full time equivalent jobs.

A report from Natural Resources Wales has directed that a raft of assessments be carried out before planning permission can be granted. There is no sign on the County Council’s planning portal that those works have been factored into the planning application as it stands. Fears have been expressed that the height of the flue stack would direct particulate smoke pollution towards Cosheston and further up the Haven waterway. In addition, residents have expressed serious concerns about the volume of traffic to and from the site from what is an already busy road, leading to and from Pembroke Dock’s ferry port.

The Herald spoke with Friends of Earth Cymru, and a spokesperson expressed grave concerns about the health effects of pollution from the plant: “There is not enough detail provided in the application about the public health impact of the plant. Children, the elderly and those with existing complaints, such as asthma, could be badly affected.

“The area around the Haven is already a hotspot for respiratory illness and problems as a result of existing pollution. This could make it worse.” Speaking before the proposal was withdrawn from consideration, local Councillor Sue Perkins, in whose ward the proposed development would take place, told us: “I have been collating the views of my constituents and Pembroke Dock Town Council in relation to this planning application and hope to be addressing the planning committee in person as the local member. At this moment in time I am currently finalising the responses which I have received.”

Speaking as a concerned town resident, Pembroke Dock Central Ward Town Councillor, Margaret Murton told The Herald: “We neither want nor need this development. It will be detrimental to Pembroke Dock. “We have asked a series of questions and they have not been answered. These plants are usually placed near refineries. Appropriate power cabling is available very close to Valero. This plant will need new cabling. There are pre-existing issues with the condition of the ground upon which this is intended to be built, especially with methane gas emissions. “Why on earth has it been placed near a residential area?”

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Milford Haven: Apocalyptic scenes as work truck catches fire in Meyler Crescent

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A MILFORD HAVEN businessman says that he is “absolutely gutted”, after he lost his tipper truck in a dramatic fire overnight.

Callum Hicks, of Meyler Crescent, was woken just after 1am on Monday morning (Mar 1) to see his vehicle in flames, with fuel running down the street on fire.

The apocalyptic scenes brought neighbours out of their homes and the fire brigade was quickly called and put out the blaze.

At this time the police and fire brigade are not suspecting foul play, but in a telephone call to a Herald reporter Callum Hicks said that he thought it was impossible that the vehicle would just spontaneously combust.

Work van: Callum Hicks with his truck, which he says was his “pride and joy”

Explaining that he thought his truck had been set on fire deliberately, he said: “There was CCTV of the fire, but its a football pitch length away, with a white van parked blocking the view of the camera. There was not a clear uninterrupted view.”

“I parked the truck at 2pm on Sunday afternoon so it was 11 hours before the fire started. The vehicle was therefore cold, and locked up.”

Firefighters at the scene

The Herald has asked two mechanics, one of whom has worked on Transit vans for decades. The first said: “It is very unlikely that a vehicle like this would catch fire on it’s own – its impossible – I am 99.9% sure that this was arson.”

The second, a specialist in vehicle electronics said: “There are so many fuses and fail safes its highly unlikely for diesel vans to burst into flames like this without some kind of catalyst.”

Burned out shell: The vehicle after the fire

“There have been issues regarding Transits in the past, even a product recall involving a fire risk from a towing module. But, the chances are a million to one of it catching fire after being parked up for almost twelve hours. It just doesn’t happen.”

The Herald asked Callum Hicks if he could think of anyone who may want to torch his truck. He said that he could not think of anyone who would do such a thing.

Commenting on the police handling of the matter, he said: “They told my missus, Rhianna Pearce, that they were not taking matters further because it was just an accident – its not!”

“I have been in trouble with the police before, and they know I am a bit of a boy, but I think this is the reason that the police are not looking into this properly.

“At the end of the day this was a large fire in a residential area, lives could have been in danger. I have lost thousands because I was insured third-party only and I do not have cover for fire.

Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been asked for a comment.

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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