A PROPOSED waste incinerator in Newport would damage wildlife and rare species on the Gwent Levels.

That’s according to the Gwent Wildlife Trust, which formally lodged objections to plans for an incinerator at Llanwern Steelworks with Newport council.

Waste firm Veolia has applied for planning permission for the scheme as part of its proposal for Prosiect Gwyrdd – a plan by five South Wales councils to find an alternative to landfill for non-recyclable waste.

Gabrielle Horup, conservation officer from the Gwent Wildlife Trust, said the trust believes the burner would have a significant impact on wildlife.

She said it will be located next to important habitats such as the Gwent Levels site of special scientific interest, protected by UK law for rare insects and aquatic plants found in its ditches and reens.

“Weare concerned that the pollution given off from burning waste will damage these rare species,” she said.

The trust is also worried about the potential impact on wetland birds in the Severn Estuary.

She said that although the company proposed to reduce the harmful effects of incineration “we believe that it is impossible to protect against all eventualities.”

Meanwhile St Modwen, which is behind a regeneration scheme to build 4,000 new homes on former steelworks land, has said that it will being “making representation”

to the council over the planning application.

Rupert Joseland, South Wales regional director for the firm, said: “Wehave concerns about the proximity of the proposed facility to the Glan Llyn scheme and we will be making representation to Newport council in line with the planning process.”

A spokeswoman wouldn’t say whether it is objecting.

A Veolia spokesman said as part of the planning application it had carried out a comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

He added: “All responses to the planning application will be considered as part of the current consultation process.”