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Stinky Withyhedge Landfill told to clean up its act by regulator

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IN a stern rebuke from the regulatory body, the proprietors of the Withyhedge Landfill, infamously referred to as “a stink bomb on steroids,” have been mandated to ameliorate their operations. The directive issued to Resources Management UK Ltd (RML), the company at the helm of the Pembrokeshire landfill, stipulates the necessity to “contain and collect” all forms of “fugitive emissions” that have been a source of significant discomfort to the local populace.

Residents in the vicinity have reported the pervasive odour of “rotting rubbish,” with some claiming it is detectable in villages up to five miles distant. Natural Resources Wales, the overseeing authority, has criticised the firm’s initial prognosis of resolving the issue by early March as overly optimistic, subsequently imposing a more stringent deadline of 5 April.

RML has previously issued an apology for the inconvenience caused by the malodours, asserting that efforts are underway to “rectify the issue with immediate effect.” Nevertheless, the proposal put forth by RML to mitigate landfill gas emissions has been deemed non-compliant with its operational permit by Natural Resources Wales, suggesting it harbours numerous uncertainties and potential future complications.

The regulatory body has expressed concerns that the short-term gains of diminishing the foul smell do not justify the medium to long-term risks involved. Despite the complexities surrounding the decisions to be made, a statement from the authority anticipates “noticeable reductions in landfill gas emissions and odours in the coming weeks.”

The issue has mobilised local residents, who have been vociferous in their demands for more stringent measures to address the odour issue. Meanwhile, RML contends that the current odour problems stem from a delay in the “capping” of a waste containment cell, maintaining that these odours pose no risk to human health or the environment. The company has extended its apologies to the affected community and has pledged to implement measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.

Additionally, an enquiry into the escape of liquid discharge from the landfill into a nearby river is currently in progress. Following its acquisition by the Cardiff-based Dauson Environmental Group in 2022, RML is authorised to dispose of up to 250,000 tonnes of waste annually at the Withyhedge site.

Concerns have also been raised regarding the past conduct of an RML director, David John Neal, who was previously adjudged guilty of illegal waste disposal at a site of special scientific interest in Newport, Gwent Levels. In May 2013, Neal received a suspended sentence and was fined in excess of £200,000, further casting shadows over the company’s environmental stewardship.

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Plans for new Pembrokeshire ‘staycation’ dog daycare kennel

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A RESUBMITTED scheme for a twice-refused south Pembrokeshire dog boarding and day care centre, later dismissed on appeal, has been lodged with county planners.

Michelle Surname Bramwell, of Little Langdon, near Kilgetty, has resubmitted re-sited plans for a commercial dog boarding and day care centre with upgrade to access, parking and ecological enhancements at Little Langdon following the previously-refused application and appeal.

Kilgetty-Begelly Community Council support the application but asked for conditions relating to the access and increase in traffic at times be considered.

A supporting statement by agent Hayston Developments & Planning Ltd said: “Two previous applications to establish such a facility have recently been refused by the council with the latter application having also been dismissed at appeal in October 2023.

“In dismissing the appeal, although the Inspector concluded that such a business in this location could be acceptable in principle, the Inspector expressed concerns over the scale, siting and visual impact of the proposed development and how possible outdoor noise disturbance from associated activities could be satisfactorily controlled, such as through mitigation measures.

“This further application seeks to fully address the concerns expressed by both the council and the appeal Inspector. Therefore, significant revisions have been made to the layout and design details of the proposed development.”

Key changes include re-siting the development away from the lane, changes to the appearance, a reduction in size, and planting and landscaping, said Hayston.

It added: “One of the key benefits of such a proposal, as fully acknowledged by the appeal Inspector, was that with the proximity of several local visitor attractions it would provide a useful service to their customers, amongst other clients.

“As part of the appeal application, it was contended that with staycation on the rise and the increase in pet ownership, boarding kennels and day care services are in demand.

“The proposal would allow tourists to visit, knowing their dogs can board within a reasonable distance of their holiday accommodation. It would allow tourists to visit nearby attractions which quite often have no-pets policies, such as Oakwood, Manor Wildlife Park, the Dinosaur Park, Heatherton and Folly Farm.

“Further, there is a B & B facility at Langdon Farm Guest House located a short distance to the south of the application property which has a no pet policy.

“In our view, the establishment of this boarding kennels and day care facility would only benefit the economy of the local area.”

Hayston said that support for the application had been received from local holiday businesses including Celtic Holiday Parks, Reynalton; Hill Park Caravans, Pentlepoir; Stone Pitt Holiday Park, Begelly; and Langdon Guest house nearby.

The application will be considered by county planners at a later date.

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Business

Milford Waterfront major events partnership with Round Table

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FOLLOWING on from its successful partnership in 2023, Milford Waterfront is supporting Milford Haven Round Table as its Major Events Partner this year.

The partnership means that the group of local volunteers will be supported in their calendar of events throughout the year, which will enable them to raise funds for local good causes, as well as creating fantastic events for visitors and the local community to enjoy.

Upcoming events this year include:

  • The Big Beer Festival – Saturday 25th May
  • Milford Haven Carnival – Saturday 6th July
  • Fireworks Extravaganza Event – Tuesday 5th November

Speaking about the partnership, Natalie Hunt, Destination Manager at Milford Waterfront said: “We are very pleased to be continuing our strong partnership with the Milford Haven Round Table.

“The events they arrange for Milford Haven are always showstoppers that bring so much fun to the area. We are sure everyone will join us in our excitement to bring them back this year!”

Rob Allen, Chair of the Milford Haven Round Table added: “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Milford Waterfront for their unwavering support of Milford Haven Round Table. Their commitment to community involvement enriches our events and fosters stronger connections within Milford Haven.

“We eagerly anticipate collaborating with them on future endeavors to further enhance our community together.”

Former volunteers and family members of those involved in past years are especially welcomed. We look forward to seeing you.

See the website www.pdht.org also Facebook and X for further details.

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Civil Aviation Authority highlights importance of aerospace industry in Wales

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CUTTING-EDGE technology, aircraft maintenance advancements, and pioneering aircraft recycling initiatives were seen by the UK Civil Aviation Authority as part of its engagement in Wales this week.

The visit by the regulator’s Chair Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief Executive Rob Bishton, and the UK Civil Aviation Authority Board highlights the pivotal role Wales plays in shaping the future of air transport safety and sustainable operations.

GE Aerospace, British Airways Maintenance, Wales Air Ambulance, and ecube were all visited as part of the two-day engagement.

The visit coincided with a Civil Aviation Authority Board meeting held in Cardiff on Wednesday, and forms part of the regulator’s commitment to strengthening ties with its stakeholders across the UK’s aviation and aerospace industry.

Sir Stephen Hillier, Chair of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“The UK’s aerospace industry is always evolving, and the industry in Wales plays an integral role in this evolution. As the regulator, it is vital that we keep pace with the rapidly changing technologies and needs of consumers in order to support our mission of protecting people and enabling aerospace.

“Our outreach work in Wales and across the UK is more important than ever, and we continue to engage with all stakeholders across the country to make aviation safer, greener, and better for passengers and the public, both home and abroad.”

Sir Stephen, Rob Bishton, and Board members toured the engine test facility at the GE Aerospace site, which has been maintaining and overhauling Boeing and Airbus aircraft engines for more than 80 years.

The Civil Aviation Authority delegation also saw how the British Airways outfitter British Airways Maintenance engineering team are overhauling and upgrading their airline’s 777 and 787 aircraft.

In addition, the Board saw the largest air ambulance operation in the UK, Wales Air Ambulance, and ecube, a global aircraft storage, disassembly, and recycling and upcycling company, visited as part of the Civil Aviation Authority’s commitment to a greener future in aviation.

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