A 90-meter high chimney stack in Cynon Valley all down to the Planning Committee on the 4 March

So the Planning Department of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council (RCTC) has approved the 90-meter high chimney stack a Development Control Committee meeting takes place on March 4, looking at the history of the site and the way RCTC have approved earlier development on the site the decision to approve the new chimney is the only decision the Planning Department could come to irrespective of what local residents want. I am aware it is not what the protesters want to hear but from past experience, I believe the stack will go ahead much to the frustration of many myself included.


So the decision will be up to the 11 councillors who make up the Planning and Development Committee.


Cllr. BONETTO Jill

Cllr. CAPLE. Gareth – (Vice-Chair)

Cllr. GREHAN Danny

Cllr. HUGHES Gareth Wyn

Cllr. JARMAN Pauline

Cllr. OWEN Wayne


Cllr. REES Sharon – (Chair)


Cllr. WILLIAMS Julie

Cllr. YEO Richard


If the committee decides to go against the recommendations of there own planning officers and not approve the development,  Enviroparks (Wales) Limited will appeal the decision and if successful probably costs of the appeal will be awarded to them so RCT council taxpayers may be paying their bill.




Mountain Ash Fly Fishers Association – object to the development due to the potential for pollutants from the stack to harm the fish population and potable water supply.


RCT Highways – no objection

RCT Public Health & Protection – no objection

RCT Countryside, Landscape & Ecology – no objection


BBNPA – has “some concerns” over the impact on the proposal on the setting of the

National Park but does not object.


Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council – initially objected due to the impact on environmentally designated sites within its boundary but subsequently removed the objection upon further clarification from the applicant.


Rhigos Community Council – object to the development on the grounds of visual impact and the health and well-being of residents of Rhigos and the wider community.


Hirwaun & Penderyn Community Council – object to the development on the grounds of pollution and damage to the environment, visual impact, tourism, resident’s health & wellbeing, increased traffic and congestion, and the development being at odds with the Well-being of Future Generations Act. They also highlight the role of the

Community Council to represent local residents and object to developments that may cause harm.


Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water – no objection (subject to a S106 Agreement)


Coal Authority – no objection

National Grid – no objection

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – no objection

National Air Traffic Services (NATS) – no objection


Natural Resources Wales (NRW) – has “significant concerns” in respect of the development and its potential impact on the Blaen Cynon SAC (emissions) but confirm that the proposed development would be subject to an application / consideration under EPR.

NRW suggest conditions that, if included, result in no objection in respect of the impact on the landscape and the BBNP.


Objection to the Planning Application for a 90m Emissions stack, Hirwaun Industrial Estate




RCT Overall Conclusions

Clearly, this application has caught the attention of the local population and has resulted in a significant number of objections. Unfortunately, many of these objections relate to broader issues that have been considered previously by Committee. These concerns are understandable and clearly heart-felt. However, Committee is advised that any concerns that refer or relate to any issue other than the increase in height of the stack and its minor relocation within the Enviroparks site should not be afforded weight in the consideration of this application.


So what will the Development Committee do will it show the anger of the people and vote against the development or follow the planning officer? It is clear no one in authority is taking any notice of what the residents want so nothing new there then.


Not so long ago RCTC approved Zip World attraction and what did the leader of the council say then.

“I’m pleased the Planning and Development Committee has granted full permission to Zip World Ltd, for the new visitor attraction in Hirwaun. This is a key development adding to our rich tourist offer – which includes an array of stunning landscapes and key destinations such as the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, and the Welsh Mining Experience, Rhondda Heritage Park.”


He also said, “I’m confident that its success can be replicated here in Rhondda Cynon Taf, taking advantage of the stunning landscape at Rhigos Mountain,”


What can now be added is the potential of a 90-meter chimney where at the base you will find a gasification plant in operation something you need to attract tourists and sightseers to the area.










APPLICATION NO: 20/0986/10 (CHJ)


APPLICANT: Enviroparks (Wales) Limited


DEVELOPMENT: Construction and use of a stack with associated pipework and a continuous emissions monitoring systems gantry with ladder access.


RECOMMENDATION: Approve subject to a S106 Agreement


REASONS: The only change proposed by this application relates to a minor relocation and increase (doubling) in height of the stack and some ducting associated with the revised location. All other aspects of the development remain unchanged and are not under consideration.

The application falls to be determined under two principal criteria namely (a) emissions and (b) visual amenity.

In respect of emissions, this is something that is wholly governed by NRW and will be the subject of an application under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR). NRW have advised that, for the purposes of the planning application, the emissions modelled by the applicant are acceptable (and is actually lower than modelling for the scheme granted planning permission in

2019 suggested). EPR will cover all aspects of both human health and that associated with flora and fauna that can be susceptible to changes in atmospheric conditions (in particular, the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly and Devil’s Bit Scabious within the Blaen Cynon SAC). Without an approval under EPR, the development cannot become operational (and is therefore unlikely to be constructed / completed).

In respect of visual amenity, neither NRW or BBNPA have objected to the impact and an independent Landscape Consultant (White Consultants) has concluded that the impact, while being significant, is also acceptable. The applicant’s proposal to “grade” the colour of the stack and its location on the bottom of the valley floor means that the majority of views will be seen against the elevated landforms rather than the skyline, so any impacts are minimized.

There are understandable concerns expressed by the letters received in objection, however these concerns relate largely to issues that have previously been considered (and approved) by both RCT and the BBNPA on two separate occasions.





Planning application for a 90 metre stack: Background for public consultation

Links to downloads below

Click link to view and download – Application Form 
Click link to view and download – CIL Form 
Click link to view and download – EWL-2020-Design and Access Statement 
Click link to view and download – EWL ES addendum 2020 Non-technical Summary 
Click link to view and download – Volume 1 EWL-ES addendum 2020 
Click link to view and download – Volume 2 EWL ES-addendum 2020 Technical appendices 
Click link to view and download – Volume 2 EWL ES-addendum 2020 Technical appendices 
Click link to view and download – Photo Montage Illustrating the Evolution of the Planning Permissions and Forthcoming Application 

Public consultation on proposals for a taller stack


Enviroparks (Wales) Limited (EWL) has planning permission for a sustainable waste resource recovery and energy production park on its site at Fifth Avenue on Hirwaun Industrial Estate. The plant will process non-hazardous waste from homes and businesses, and is designed to recover as much recyclable materials and energy from the waste stream as possible. 

Government policy supports the development of plants like this because they reduce the amount of waste tipped in landfill sites. 

At the heart of the approved Enviroparks development will be an advanced gasification plant, housed in a building. In this plant, pre-processed waste will be heated to a high temperature – effectively cooked rather than burned. This releases a gas with a high energy content that will be used as a fuel to generate renewable electricity and heat. 

The exhaust gases from the gasification plant will be filtered and vented through a stack on the site. Stack emissions will be monitored at all times and must comply with an Environmental Permit issued by Natural Resources Wales.

The current proposals

EWL has planning permission for a 45 metre high stack, located at the centre of the Fifth Avenue site. Computer modelling of the emissions from the stack shows that the exhaust gases will disperse better into the atmosphere if a taller stack was built. This will also benefit sensitive grassland wildlife sites close to the Enviroparks plant. 

For these reasons EWL intends to apply for a 90 metre high stack in a slightly revised location on its site. The proposed stack will be a slender structure, under four metres in diameter, with a smooth steel finish and a graded colour scheme designed to reduce its visual prominence. 

At the same time it is proposed to reposition the stack within the Enviroparks site to allow better access for maintenance.

The planning application

The planning application for the taller stack will be submitted to Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (RCT). The application will be accompanied by an update or ‘addendum’ to the Environmental Statement for the existing approved proposals. The addendum will provide detailed technical information on the airy quality, ecology and landscape and visual effects of the proposals. 

Drafts of the planning application can be viewed by clicking on the PDF files uploaded to this website. You might like to begin with the EWL ES addendum 2020, which provides an overview of the proposals and a summary of the predicted environmental effects. The Volume 3 EWL addendum 2020 landscape and visual figures and montages give an impression of what the stack would look like in local views. 

If you would also like to view the planning applications and environmental information approved by RCT and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority in the 2017 application (submitted in 2017, approved in 2019), please follow the link on the website Enviroparks Planning 2017.

Your views

To make representations about the proposals, please e-mail the applicant at admin@enviroparks.co.uk or write to the address below, marking the envelope PLANNING CONSULTATION. 

Please submit your views before 12pm on Thursday 23rd July 2020, 

Enviroparks (Wales) Limited
Tiverton Chambers
Lion Street

What happens next?

EWL will consider the responses it receives from the public consultation and will if appropriate refine its proposals prior to submitting a planning application to RCT. 

EWL will prepare and submit a Pre-Application Consultation Report alongside its planning application. This will describe the current consultant process, summarise the feedback and explain any changes made to the scheme or the assessment of its environmental effects in response to comments received. 

Once the planning application has been submitted RCT will undertake a further public consultation on the proposals. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.




APPLICATION NO: 17/0249/10 (CHJ)


APPLICANT: Enviroparks (Wales) Limited


DEVELOPMENT: Amended phase II development and operation of a sustainable waste resource recovery and energy production park, comprising the consolidation of the approved gasification yard and pyrolysis building into a

6,270.43 m2 gasification hall; an emissions stack measuring 45 m in height and 3.5 m in diameter; a 2,102.86 m2 fuel storage hall and a 378 m2 turbine hall for electricity generation; and a 4,824 m2 open service yard containing ancillary structures including air-cooled condensers for the gasification plant, ancillary fire water tanks and a fire pumphouse, effluent pumps, gas boosters, transformers and a standby diesel generator and fuel tank, with boundary landscape and planting (Additional information relating to the Environmental

Statement received 19/09/17).







Planning: Date: Description: Decision:

08/1735/10 21/12/2010 Development of a sustainable waste resource recovery and energy production park (additional information received


Decision: Approved


Planning and Development Committee Agenda – 19th October 2017 63

15/1226/39 08/10/2015 Application for non-material change to planning permission to include the following elevation plan as an approved plan attached to planning permission 08/1735/10): Proposed Elevations (Drawing Ref: 10438 2100 Rev C).

Decision: Approved


15/1227/39 08/10/2015 Application for non-material change to planning permission to include the following elevation plan as an approved plan attached to planning permission 08/1735/10: Gatehouse Floor Plan,

Section and Elevations (LPA Plan Ref: NP15v1, Drawing Ref: 8016 PL 020) with new elevation plans: Gatehouse Building,

Proposed Elevations (Drawing Ref: 10438 2010 Rev B). Gatehouse Building

Proposed Ground Floor Plan & Roof Plan (Drawing Ref: 10438 2010 Rev B). Gatehouse Building Model Views (Drawing Ref: 10438 4100). To allow small amendments to the consented building.

Decision: Approved


15/1346/10 25/01/2016 Erection of a building measuring 2,368.47 square metres to enclose apparatus of consented gasifier unit (under planning permissions BBNPA 08/02488/FUL and

RCT 08/1735/10) on the Enviroparks Hirwaun site to form an extension and continuation to the consented Fuel Preparation Area Building. Landscaping and external gasifier plant equipment.

Decision: Approved.


15/1353/39 14/06/2016 Application for non-material change to planning permission to include FPA Phase II Drawing Ref: 10455-2004 as an approved plan attached to Planning Permission 08/1735/10 to allow minor changes to the external appearance of the Phase II section of the FPA Building to reconfigure the elevations and roof light configuration to match Phase I nonmaterial amendments and allow uniform integration with proposed Gasifier Building elevations.

Decision: Approved.


15/1361/39 14/06/2016 Application for non-material change to planning permission to add a new condition to planning permission

08/1735/10 to include the plans originally submitted to accompany the planning Approved Planning and Development Committee Agenda – 19th October 2017 64 application as a set of approved plans.

The list of originally submitted plans to be included as approved plans.

Decision: Approved


17/0232/39 30/03/2017 Application for non-material change to planning permission to relocate the HV (High Voltage) substation from its approved location on the eastern site boundary fronting Ninth Avenue to a new south eastern location within the site fronting Fifth Avenue.

Decision: Approved


Brecon Beacons National Park Authority




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