THE body which looks after Wales’ environment is asking for the proposed £250m Circuit of Wales in Ebbw Vale to be refused planning permission.

In a detailed report released this week, the Welsh Government sponsored body National Resources Wales outlined the possible adverse environmental effects if the multimillion pound scheme were to go ahead.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council postponed a meeting on Wednesday which was set to discuss the plan as a result of the report.

A spokesman from Natural Resources Wales said: “We have objected to the proposal in its current form as it would have an impact on the environment and on protected landscapes.

“However, we will continue to work with the developers to find possible solutions to the concerns we have.”

Heads of the Valleys Development Company, the group behind the Circuit of Wales planning application, hope 12,000 jobs will be created by the scheme.

The proposed development represents the biggest investment in the UK automotive sector in more than half a century, and bosses expect the track to attract around 750,000 visitors a year.

But NRW’s report stated: “In this instance our view is that the environmental impacts of the scheme as described are unacceptable.

Unfortunately, it is difficult (to) see how this impact can be substantially avoided, reduced and mitigated in the scheme’s current location.”

It went on to state: “We consider that the scale of the proposal and its location on open moorland bordering the Brecon Beacons National Park would have unacceptable environmental impacts, including impacts on the special qualities of the protected landscape.

“Natural Resources Wales therefore objects to the application and recommends that it is refused,” it added.

The report feared 700,000 cubic metres of peat and peaty soils could be removed as part of the development.

NRW claimed the application failed to recognise that the area contained a flow of baseenriched water running through the shallow peat or mineral soils in the area.

It also claims the developers make a “false assumption” that the landscape is damaged and points to potential damage to areas registered as historic landscapes.

The Circuit of Wales would be visible from high ground on the fringes of the Blaenavon World Heritage Status site and historical areas of Gelligaer Common, including a Bronze Age cairn.

NRW recommends historic monuments body Cadw be consulted.

Blaenau Gwent council expects further meetings on the Circuit of Wales proposal to be held next month

Planning problem issues

The report identified five aspects which could be affected by the current proposal.

They were:

● Landscape and visual aspects particularly in relation to effects on the Brecon Beacons National Park.

● Loss of Biodiversity Action Plan Habitats and impact on protected species.

● Loss of Common Land and implications for management of the adjoining common land/BBNP.

● Loss of peat soils and implications for carbon emissions.

● Effects on water quantity and the quality of watercourses within and adjoining the application site.