PLANS to expand a private incinerator site in rural Monmouthshire have caused a stink with a group of residents who have concerns over air pollution, the site’s visual impact, and a potential increase in the number of lorries on minor roads.

The proposal to build a fuel storage building at Trostrey Court, Gwehelog, had been recommended for approval by Monmouthshire County Council’s planners, but was withdrawn from consideration in March to allow officers “to clarify issues around air quality”. An air quality assessment was returned to the council last month, in which consultants Sol Environment “considered that air quality does not pose a constraint to development of the site as proposed”.

But this has not quelled local opposition to the plans.

On Thursday, more than 60 residents of Trostrey, Bettws Newydd, Gwehelog, Usk and Raglan attended a meeting in Bettws Newydd Village Hall to voice their concerns about the site, which plans say would burn woodchip to produce heat and electricity.

There, it was suggested the so-called climate emergency, as declared by the local authority and the Welsh Government this year, favoured greener forms of energy production.

Llanarth Fawr community councillor John Hathaway said residents would prefer a “focus on genuine renewable energy, such as solar power – not have outdated, polluting plants, that could operate for decades to come, foisted on them”.

He added: “We can’t burn our way out of this climate emergency.”

If the plans are approved when they go back before planners at an as-yet unspecified date, the energy generated at the site will be used to heat an adjacent poultry unit, with any surplus power sold to the national grid, according to the plans.

The Free Press contacted the applicant regarding the opposition to the site, but he declined to comment.