The Planning Application S/16781 states that up to 90 jobs will be created by the proposal.
However, when we compare this proposal with five other broadly equivalent Biomass Power Station proposals that have been applied for elsewhere in the
Biomass Power Station Location
Power Output MW
Direct Jobs Created
As our elected representatives on the council, we encourage you to find out the real numbers for Coedbach.
A Power Station is a highly capital intensive, highly automated operation. The proposed investment of £70 - £85 million will only create a very limited number of new local jobs eg approximately one job per £1 million invested and this is before the real job creation numbers are validated.
The site currently has Outline Planning Permission for B2 – Industry and B8 – Storage and Distribution.
This type of planning zoning, together with B1 Light Industry, creates a much higher level of jobs created for every £ invested. In Carmarthenshire entrepreneurs and employers are crying out for more availability of small and light industrial units. For example:
Carmarthenshire County Council Estates Department manage +350 industrial units. These are oversubscribed with a waiting list for prospective tenants.
The newly developed Dafatty Park Site in
The flagship development at Llanelli Gate is also fully subscribed.
The Coedbach Action Group representing 100’s of Objectors’ to Planning Application S/16781 Power Station objects to siting a Power Station at Coedbach. The return on investment for jobs created is very low and we think that this is an inappropriate use of the site.
We do support the Outline Planning Permission for the site B2/B8 and in addition B1 Light Industry zoning.
This will encourage entrepreneurs and small employers to invest in the county and also meet the current high unmet demand for this type of industrial site, it has a high employment to investment ratio.
We ask you to say NO to Planning Application S/16781 Power Station.
We ask you to say YES to B1/B2/B8 Light Industry, Storage and Distribution, which will create 100s of jobs.
When looking at planning applications we understand that the normal threshold for being seriously concerned about the impact of traffic increases is a 30% increase.
The EIA for Coedbach Power Station states that there will be an expected NEW 390 HGV traffic movements per week (350 wood and 40 waste). This is based on delivering 125,000 tonnes pa of wood to the site which represents 25% of the proposed 500,000 tonnes pa. This is an additional 78 HGV movements per day, or 10 per hour or one every 6 minutes.
This represents a 280% increase in current HGV movements. This figure is a cause for major concern. We would like you to stop and think for a moment about just how big an impact this will have locally on the environment, population, amenity, and pollution. There are two other factors that we need to bring to your attention.
Firstly: The traffic impact of this proposal affects a much larger area of Carmarthenshire than just the B4308 at Kidwelly. There are only 3 natural routes to the site which could be used for transportation of the proposed 125,000 tonnes pa of locally sourced wood and the 15,000 tonnes of waste ash (classified as a haz mat – hazardous material).
If you live in, or represent communities and constituents along these routes, and if you approve this application, you are going to see an alarming rise in HGV movements and the accompanying disruption and pollution which is way above the threshold for concern.
Route 1: The coast road from Swansea impacting Pemberton, Machynys, Stradey,
Route 2: Over the Hill from Llanelli, impacting Pemberton, Llanelli, Furnace, Cwmbach, Pen y Mynydd, Trimsaran
Route 3: The Cross country route from Cross Hands impacting Cross Hands, Tumble, Pontyberem, Pontyhenri, Pontyates, Carway, Trimsaran
On this basis, we would like you to consider requesting a Movement Impact Assessment to undertake a County–wide Traffic Survey of HGV Movements.
Secondly: The applicant is proposing to use a rail link from
Our understanding is that the rail spur from Kidwelly to Coedbach lies in a C2 flood zone that is highly vulnerable to flooding. From conversations with local residents, this section of the line does flood on a regular basis. If this is so, then the only means of delivering wood to the site is
by road. We also understand that historically use of rail as a means of transport was never economical and that all site deliveries came in by road.
The clear implication here is that we are potentially looking at the developer moving all materials to site by road. This would result in an astronomical new 1400 HGV movements per week along the above routes, which is 280 per day or 35 per hour.
We do not believe that the
We ask you also to SAY NO TO COEDBACH.
Follow up: The information in this briefing note has already been shared with officers of the council, ie Head of Transport, and Head of Planning; we would encourage you to talk to them.
There is substantially scientific evidence that emissions and pollutants from Power Stations damage Human Health. Below are the extracts from six published scientific and government reports.
Summary Extracts from Scientific Literature
In Australia the incidence of asthma in 850 children aged 5-12 compared in two coastal towns – one with a Power Station, one without.
Conclusion: Baseline lung functioning was lower and reported symptoms of asthma were 58% higher in the Power Station town (NSW Paediatrics study)
The strongest link was in women over 60 with 15.7% increase in artery thickness for every 10ug/m3 increase in pollution – current pollution emissions legislation allows for emissions of up to 50um/m3.
In the UK a report by the committee on the medical effects of air pollution have stated as a main finding, that outdoor air pollutants are likely to be associated with increased deaths and hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease. They then went on to state that “A precautionary principle should be adopted in future planning and policy development”.
In a Polish study of +1100 children aged 2-4.5 years, the findings revealed a significant increase in diagnosis of acute bronchitis when children were exposed to medium to high levels of airborne particulates.
In a UK research study, based on 10 cities, there is a direct correlation between levels of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and infant mortality/deaths. A 10ug/M3 showed a measurable and significant increase in infant mortality.
In Europe the EEC has halved set limits for PM10s from 2010 in response to concerns about the adverse health impact of particles with further reductions planned up to 2020.
Carmarthenshire County Council Planning Department have not asked for a Human Health Impact Assessment to be carried out on this application. As local residents this concerns us greatly.
This application will impact our health and our lives and it feels like we have been ignored and forgotten.
In the absence of the full and objective facts and data and analysis on our Human Health for this proposal, we ask that you reject Planning Application S/16781.
On probably the wettest night of the year over 250 local residents braved the elements to attend a public meeting hosted by Trimsaran Community Council and their Chair Person, Catherine Lloyd Jenkins.
In April, the developer held an equivalent meeting to share details of the proposed 50mw Power Station.
On 9 July presenters representing the Coedbach Action Group presented six topics with questions and answer sessions which were based on our research and thoughts into the proposed development. During the evening we shared with the audience that:
· We think the potential for job creation in a Power Station is an estimated 20-40 jobs, versus 100s from existing granted planning permission for the site.
· There will be an additional 390 HGV movements per week on local roads with accompanying noise, pollution and safety implications.
· We think that the development is in conflict with up to 8 Carmarthenshire County Council Unitary Development Policies.
· The Environmental Impact Assessment that has been carried out for the proposal is very restricted in scope, eg 2km zone of impact vs 15km zone of impact for a similar development in Kings Dock,
· There has been no Human Health Impact Assessment carried out for the project when Swansea City Council has asked for one to be conducted for Kings Dock.
· That emissions and pollutants from the chimney stack will be an estimated 1 tonne per minute during full operation and we are concerned that chimney stack height has not been determined – it should be.
The issue which created most concern for attendees and residents was the potential impact of this proposal on local residents’ Human Health and there was a formal request from the audience for the council to conduct a full, objective and independent Human Health Impact Assessment on the application.
We now await Carmarthenshire County Council response to this request.
The audience asked many intelligent questions and a selection of these are now available to view on the Coedbach website www.coedbach.webs.com
As part of the evaluation of S/16781 CCC Planning Department commissioned an Environmental Impact Assessment. The Coedbach Action Team have taken an objective look at the Environmental Impact Assessment conducted for this proposed power station and we have been alarmed by the restrictive and limited scope of the study.
The zone of impact for this study was set at only 2 km radius of the site and 1.4 kmradius for the historical and archaeological impact.
By comparison we have looked at the zone of impact in Environmental Studies undertaken for power station and ‘renewable’ energy schemes elsewhere:
For Betws Wind Farm the study zone is 30km.
You have to ask why only 2km at Coedbach!
So what does all this mean? At Coedbach this means that the Environmental Impact Assessment has excluded the impact of this Power Station on all significant local population centres and features eg:
Kidwelly 2.1 km
Pembrey & Burry Port 4.5 km
Cwm Clydach 2.1 km
Ffos Las Racecourse 2.5 km
Pembrey Airport 3.0 km
Downwind – Excluded
Trimsaran 2.5 km
Pontyates 5/6 km
Pont-henri 5/6 km
Pontyberem 9 km
Tumble/Drefach 12 km
Cross Hands 15 km
By comparison; if the zone of impact had been set at 15km, the same distance as the
The legal responsibility to set the zone of impact for an Environmental Impact Assessment rests with Planning.
As local residents we are seriously concerned that a very restrictive zone of impact of 2km around Coedbach does not reflect the true impact of this planning application on us, the residents of Carmarthenshire and we don’t think that you, our elected members have been presented with the facts and data that allow you to take a balanced decision on this application.
As our elected representatives we would like you to ask why !
The Coedbach Action Team have taken an objective look at the emissions from this proposed Power Station and we are concerned by what we have found in the application and supporting documentation.
This 50mw power station will produce an estimated 500,000 tonnes per annum of emissions and pollution pa based on their proposed usage of 511,000 tonnes pa of wood.
This means that every minute of every day an estimated 1 tonne of emissions and pollutants will be released into our local atmosphere.
The Environment Agency report that ten types of emissions are detrimental to human health.
- SO2 – Sulphur Dioxide, noxious and produces acid rain
- CO – Carbon Monoxide – lethal in small doses
- NOx – Nitrogen Oxides, converts to Nitric Acid and ozone
- CO2 – Carbon Dioxide – lethal in large quantities
- PM10s – Small particles of soot and dust – major aggravator of respiration and cause of Asthma
- O2 – Ozone – causes asthma in children
- HCL – Hydrogen chloride is an extremely toxic gas
- PM2.5 – heavy metal particulates
- Dioxins – Highly toxic chemicals which accumulate in the food chain
- PAH - Poly Aromatic Hydro Carbons
Yet in the Environment Impact Assessment scoped by Carmarthenshire County Council Planning Department, only five have been modelled.
NOx – Nitrogen 16000 kg per week
PM10 – particulates 1100 kg per week
C0 – Carbon Monoxide 13500 kg per week
S02 – Sulphur Dioxide 16000 kg per week
HCL – Hydrogen Chloride 1300 kg per week
C02 – Carbon Dioxide not calculated
PAH – Aromatic Hydro Carbons not calculated
PM 2.5 – heavy metals not calculated
Dioxins not calculated
O2 Ozone not calculated
Did you realise that when commissioning a Power Station, by law, 28 separate contaminants and pollutants have to be measured and certified. Yet only 5 have been modelled for this application.
We have attempted to model the impact of carbon dioxide and have estimated that this application will increase the carbon dioxide emissions in Carmarthenshire by 20-25%. We don’t believe that this is ‘green’, ‘sustainable’ or ‘environmentally friendly’.
In a departure from our regular Briefing Notes we need to bring to your attention, as our elected Councillors, what we consider to be a fragrant and outrageous disregard for the public and public interest regarding the proposed planning application at Coedbach.
The background is as follows:
At the public meetings held on the proposed power station at Coedbach during the summer 2008, serious concerns were raised about the potential risk to human health of this application; as a result Carmarthenshire County Council agreed to conduct a Human Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on this application.
On 1 October, the Head of Planning, Eifion Bowen, met with Meryl Gravell - Leader of the Council, local residents, and Coedbach Action Team (CAT), where we presented our Human Health concerns to Head of Planning. These were passed onto the developer by Eifion Bowen in a letter dated 1 October which outlined requirements for the HIA (copy attached). During this meeting it was agreed by E Bowen that we would be consulted with throughout the HIA process.
On 19 November during a telephone conference hosted by Dr Michael Thomas – Public Health Director for Carmarthenshire Local Health Board, the scoping document was discussed. The CAT requested a copy of this document prepared by the developer for the HIA (dated 29 October 2008). We received the scoping document on 19 November.
On 29 November – before we had time to consider input to this scoping document, we received a letter from E Bowen saying that he has now received a completed HIA from the developer – dated 21 November.
These are four elements to this situation that we consider to be outrageous and unprofessional.
As our elected representative we think you need to be asking some very serious questions about the conduct of the Council Officers with respect to Coedbach and also insist that on something as important as the public health issues raised by Coedbach, the council work in a fully objective, transparent and consultative mode. In our view this is not currently happening.
Pauline Bowers, Secretary
For and on behalf of Coedbach Action Team
Below is an email from Nia Griffith, MP, Llanelli, to Coedbach Action Team
“As you may have heard, following the recent Government reshuffle, we now have a Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) headed by Ed Miliband. This is very welcome as some of us have been arguing for some time that it makes sense to have these together rather than across two departments.
On Thursday Ed Miliband made a three-pronged statement (now going for 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 in Climate Bill, feed-in tariffs for micro-generation and measures to stop over-pricing for those on pre-payment meters and electricity companies over-charging in rural areas where there is no mains gas).
I used the opportunity of being called by the speaker to ask the question below on biomass and start the minister and fellow MPs thinking about the issue. I have also written to Ed Miliband asking more specific questions as per our conversation and your notes”.
Nia Griffith (Llanelli) (Lab):
Question from Nia Griffith
In order to reduce our emissions by 80 per cent., we clearly need increased investment in a wide range of renewables. Will the Secretary of State carefully consider what the cumulative effect would be on forest and land use around the world of locating enough biomass material to feed all the biomass power stations in the planning system? I fear that our system of renewables obligation certificates might end up rewarding electricity producers for importing biomass materials huge distances from unsustainable sources. That would be completely different from small-scale projects using locally sourced biomass.
Answer from Edward Miliband:
The question was definitely worth waiting for, because this is an important issue. My hon. Friend may know that an independent report on forestry published earlier this week argued precisely for a sustainable approach to forests, which must include the approach we take on biomass. I hear her comments and will think further about them.
As we continue to look at the potential impact that siting a power station in the mouth of the Gwendraeth Valley at Coedbach we are becoming more concerned than ever about the negative impact that this will have upon our local area and economy.
Carmarthenshire County Council and private developers have invested £10’s millions in regeneration of the local area to change an industrial environment with one where tourism and recreation is now the focal point eg Pembrey Country Park, Cefon Siden Beach, Pembrey Airport, Ffos Las.
We now have direct evidence that a power station at Coedbach is in conflict with tourism and will reduce investment (and jobs) in the local area.
Please find a letter from Mrs Howell from Bridgend that we found in the Coedbach file in the planning Department (she has given us permission to share this with you).
Because of the Coedbach application and the Council’s June 2008 recommendation for approval she has pulled out of a planned purchase and investment in
In the current economy we should be encouraging inward investment into the area not driving people away.
23rd September 2008
Mr .Eifion Bowen, Head of Planning
Carmarthenshire County Council
RE: BIO-MASS POWER STATION AT THE FORMER COEDBACH
WASHERY SITE, KIDWELLY.
PLANNING APPLICATION: S/16781
My family and I saw a programme detailing the above and also found on the internet that a recommendation has already been made by you to approve the above project. If that is the case and the Bio-Mass Power Station is located in the
I and my family enjoyed a holiday recently in Kidwelly,
We are extremely disappointed that the Council are even entertaining a Bio-Mass Power Station in the beautiful tourist area which will now be turned into a vast chimney spewing out smoke over a vast area which will kill any tourism in that area not to mention ruining the health of the people who live there.
My family and I would not want to visit the area which includes Pendray, Kidwelly,
Since hearing this news we want nothing to do with that area and we are so glad that we found out now before we handed any money over.
The picture above is taken looking across the
Now imagine adding the pollution emissions from the proposed power station at 1 tonne per minute, 24 hours per day and you have a harmful cocktail of gasses and pollutants which are trapped in the valley. We believe that this poses a serious health risk to local residents in Kidwelly, Trimsaran, Pembrey and
Has this been identified in the Human health Impact Assessment? NO.
Why not? This is because the developer used weather data from
How would you feel about breathing in noxious smog of the kind that we believe is going to occur in the
The Coedbach site at Kidwelly already has planning permission for B2 Industry and B8 storage and distribution.
If you compare the potential for job creation at Coedbach with what is already in place at Llanelli workshops and Trostre Industrial Estate which contains similar types of industry to what has been approved and are a smaller size to Coedbach, you will see that far more jobs will be created by developing the 30 industrial units with approval, not 1 power station:
At Llanelli and Trostre Workshops there are over 80 companies employing an estimated +600 people on a site which is smaller than Coedbach
The planning application S/16781 states that up to 90 jobs will be created by the proposal.
Having visited both Lockerbie and Ely we believe that this claim is seriously incorrect:
Biomass power station Direct jobs created
Ely 38 mw 28 (information from Plant Manager)
Lockerbie 44mw 28 (3 x 6 shifts + office staff of 8-10)
As our representatives on Carmarthenshire County Council how many jobs do you support at Coedbach?
Planning approval for +600 jobs through development of industrial units on the site or
Planning requested for circa 30 for one highly automated power station
The proposed power station at Coedbach will use +500,000 tonnes pa of wood. The developer is proposing to bring in 75% or 375,000 tonnes by rail and 125,000 tonnes by road. The road impact of this is +70 hgv movements per day or one lorry every 8 minutes. We don’t think that wood delivery to the site will happen this way.
Why? The photographs above show the flooded railway line between Kidwelly and Coedbach. The railway is in a C2 flood zone and over a 3 month period that we have photographed it has remained flooded.
What is the implication of 100% Transport to the site by road?
This would mean that hgv movements would quadruple to 1400 per week; 280 per day or one hgv every 2 minutes.
For example – if your constituents live along any of the transport routes to Coedbach from
We believe that this will have major public safety and pollution implications which have not been considered in the application.