PLANS for a factory in Ebbw Vale that could create 1000 jobs have been backed by Blaenau Gwent planners.

The application by Turkish firm, CiNER Glass Ltd  to build a factory making glass bottles at the Rassau Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Ebbw Vale, will be discussed by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s planning committee on Thursday, June 16.

The development would provide around 670 operational jobs and around 450 jobs during construction at peak times.

In a report to the committee, Blaenau Gwent planning services development manager Steve Smith and development team manager Steph Hopkins, conclude that permission should be given to the application and that the scheme should be looked at in a wider context.

Mr Smith and Ms Hopkins said: “The proposed buildings are of a mass and scale not previously seen at the Rassau Industrial Estate.

“As always, when dealing with major schemes, it is necessary to assess the proposal in light of all the issues in the round.

“In weighing up the material issues, the council is required to make a balanced decision based on the planning merits.

“The recommendation in this report is that planning permission be granted, subject to a number of detailed conditions that are required to either make the development acceptable, mitigate an impact or exercise future control over the site.”

“This recommendation is not made lightly, however, we are confident that the recommendation is the correct one and development should proceed.

“It could deliver economic benefits without causing an impact that cannot be managed or mitigated.”

The site is just 400 metres from the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Mr Smith and Ms Hopkins do point out that objections and concerns have been raised and that the proposal, does conflict with “some” planning policies.

They add: “That is the challenge for members of the planning committee, they must have regard to all the issues and come to a view based on all relevant factors.”

According to CiNER’s agents Arup,  the development is needed to produce glass for its market in the UK.

Arup said: “The proposed development seeks to construct the proposed glass manufacturing facility within Rassau Industrial Estate, utilising two vacant employment land allocations and an undeveloped land parcel within the site, making effective use of the A465 strategic road network to facilitate distribution.”

If the scheme is approved quickly, then Arup believed that work to clear the site they can start this summer and the “ambition” is to have the first furnace working in the latter half of 2024.

They believe the second furnace could also be operational in 2025 if plans for the factory include:

  • Two furnaces with associated filters.
  • Two 75-metre-high chimney stacks.
  • Two production lines for hot and cold processing, inspection, and packaging of glass bottles including workshops and storage areas within the process building.
  • Office/welfare buildings including canteen, infirmary and changing facilities.
  • An automated warehousing facility.
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) store
  • Back up fuel storage facilities.
  • Several buildings for storing materials, rejected and recycled glass.
  • Hard standing for delivery and staff parking.