A COMMISSIONER has called for an environmental watchdog to show how effectively it is using new legislation in regards to controversial developments, such as a waste plant in Caerphilly county borough.

Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, has written to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) regarding the facility in Nine Mile Point Industrial Estate, Cwmfelinfach. 

NRW generated controversy amongst residents, councillors, AMs, and MPs when they withdrew an earlier objection against the plant following an appeal by its operators, Hazrem Environmental.

Its environmental permit application was later approved by an inspector following a public inquiry.

But Ms Howe has said concerns over NRW’s approach to environmental permitting decisions have “emerged as a common thread” raised regarding the Hazrem plant, and another scheme in Barry.

The commissioner has now pledged to monitor the issue in order to determine if there are “systemic issues” in how the Future Generations Act is being applied.

The act focuses on the economic, social, environmental and cultural impact of any policy decision.

Ms Howe has also formally requested worked examples of how the act has been applied by NRW.

She has already met with NRW chair Diane McCrea, who has committed to ongoing talks on the matters.

Ms McCrea said all decision documents involve extensive consultation with the public and partners, and are publicly available.

“We are happy to consider further how we apply the Wales legislation to our permitting processes and would welcome the commissioner’s advice and guidance in doing this,” she said.