PLANS for a water tank to hold 250,000 litres of water that would be used to deal with any fires at a recycling facility have been approved.

Powys County Council planning officers have approved the proposal under delegated powers.

The approval comes despite strong objections lodged against the scheme and concerns expressed that the proposal could affect sewage infrastructure beneath the site for the water tank site, which at 250,000 litres is about one tenth the size of an Olympic-standard swimming pool.

The application for the water tank by Powys County Council’s Simon Kendrick for the North Powys Bulking Facility, at Abermule and will be a central part of the council’s new application to environment body, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for an environment permit to run the facility.

The last permit application was rejected back in March and main reason behind the refusal was the supply of water if a fire happened at the site.

At a meeting in July, Abermule & Llandyssil Community Council discussed the application and objected to it.

They said it was in an area known to be contaminated and that, no documentation had confirmed that it had been investigated or dealt with.

Following further discussion at the community council’s August meeting, Cllr Mark Pearce had written to Powys, asking for a copy of the contamination remediation verification report and had also pointed out the issues underground.

Cllr Pearce said: “Several identified underground services in close proximity to the proposed location of the water storage tank— a telecom cable, a 355mm water main and a 160mm pressurised sewer main.”

Water company Hafren Dyfrdwy confirmed the issues and had initially told Powys that they objected to the plans.

The North Powys Bulking Facility on the outskirts of Abermule - picture by Elgan HearnThe water tank plans

Hafren Dyfrdwy, planning work management technician, Rhiannon Thomas said: “The pressurised foul sewer and the clean water asset cannot be built over.”

Planning officer Richard Edwards has granted permission for the application and explains in his report that Hafren Dyfrdwy have changed their minds and are happy with the proposal.

Mr Edwards said: “Hafren Dyfrdwy have been consulted and initially raised an objection in respect of the siting of the tank given that it would encroach on the exclusion zones for their apparatus within the area.

“Revised plans have been produced which have resulted in the diameter of the tank being reduced and moved slightly closer to existing units.”

“Hafren Dyfrdwy  have reviewed the additional information and plan and now happy with the proposal given that the concrete pad will disperse any loading, and as the pad is minimal depth no issues are likely to be raised.”

The controversial bulking facility is supposed to receive recycling collected from households across Montgomeryshire, where it will be squashed together  or “bulked,” so that it can be more easily transported to processors to turn into new products.

Powys have always stressed that the facility is needed so that they can hit Welsh Government recycling targets.