CAMPAIGNERS have bid good riddance to a controversial food waste recycling plant plan in New Inn, following news that the proposal has been withdrawn.

Waste management company Shanks Group had hoped to develop an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at the site of the former Rechem incinerator plant, which closed in 2002, and had planned to hold a public inquiry following planning refusal by Torfaen councillors last year.

But following news that the company had withdrawn its appeal, environmental group Torfaen Friends of the Earth said they were “pleased”.

Group spokeswoman Carole Jacob said: “While anaerobic digestion was a system we supported we opposed the application for New Inn as it was in a residential location giving rise to odour and traffic problems.

“The operation included waste from other local authorities such as Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent which would mean many traffic movements continuously.”

The proposal had also proved unpopular among residents, with more than 300 objecting to the local authority.

An action group was also set up in protest with other concerns over vermin and visual impact.

The AD plant was designed to recycle household food waste, but could also have included food waste from supermarkets and restaurants, Shanks said.

The process, which does not involve burning waste, produces a biogas, which can be used to generate renewable electricity.

Councillor Giles Davies said the withdrawal was “great news for New Inn”.

Torfaen council confirmed the appeal had been withdrawn.

It was also suggested at the end of last year that a further application was being tabled from Shanks to create a new plant in Mamhilad.

But a spokeswoman for Shanks said there were no such plans.

“Shanks confirms it has reluctantly withdrawn from the South West Wales AD Procurement Project,” she said, “The decision has been made by the board in the context of the broader business, following the careful consideration of a number of factors.”