A WASTE firm has admitted that an incinerator project in Newport is no longer viable and has pulled out of a planning appeal.

Veolia has given up on appealing a decision by the city’s planning committee to refuse consent for a waste-burning site in Newport.

The move was welcomed, with one councillor saying it vindicated a campaign against it.

If built, the £200million incinerator at Llanwern Steelworks could have burned 250,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year.

But the France-based firm concluded the facility would not be viable, after missing out on a waste contract being drawn up by five South Wales councils, including Newport, Monmouthshire and Caerphilly.

A Veolia spokesman said: “We can confirm we have withdrawn our planning appeal regarding the development of an energy recovery facility at Llanwern, having concluded that such a facility would not be viable outside the Project Gwyrdd procurement process for which a preferred bidder has already been selected.”

The Prosiect Gwyrdd waste scheme has picked Viridor’s scheme for a waste incinerator in Cardiff as its preferred bidder.

Robert Hepworth, chairman of Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign, said: “This is a victory for SNIC and the whole local community in beating off a waste incinerator at Llanwern, which would have scarred our health and environment for the next 30 years.”

Mr Hepworth added he would still like to see the entire Prosiect Gwyrdd given the red card.

Pippa Bartolotti, leader of the Wales Greens added: “Our happiness at this decision is marred only by the fact that the people of Cardiff will be forced to host a polluting incinerator.”

Newport council’s Labour group made a manifesto commitment at last year’s elections to oppose the Llanwern incinerator.

Labour leader Bob Bright has declined to comment about Veolia’s withdrawal, however Labour Beechwood councillor and planning committee member Paul Hannon said he was pleased that the saga was over.

“Veolia lost the planning argument comprehensively,” he said, citing its proximity to a planned development of thousands of houses.

“It certainly vindicates the campaign. But even if there hadn’t been a campaign, it was the wrong site for an incinerator on planning grounds.”