CONTROVERSIAL plans to continue using an industrial estate site in New Inn as a waste transfer station have been refused by Torfaen council.

More than 600 people raised objections to the plans, predominantly over the potential for noise and odour pollution.

The former Shanks UK site at Pont Y Felin Industrial Estate is currently used to process cardboard, waste, plastic, metal and wood.

The application intended to allow the continued use as a waste transfer station as well as to allow several structures on the site to remain in place.

However, local residents raised significant concerns to the plans, which were supported by Torfaen County Borough Council’s planning committee.

Pontypool council said they objected to the application “in the strongest way possible” because of an increase in traffic and the “atrocious” smell that comes from the site.

The objection from the community council said: “The smell at present from the site is atrocious; and this is only going to intensify through the summer months; numerous residents have complained about the noise and odour nuisance and have also complained about the infestation of flies through the summer months.


“These concerns need to be taken seriously as the company as actions are going to impact on the future of residents who live in this area and have a detrimental and long term damaging effect to the environment and the health and well-being of residents.”

The 600 objections from residents raised concerns over the new housing development at Clos y Felin, which lies closest to the application site.

Aside from the odour and traffic pollution, there were serious concerns over the visual impact, the potential for flooding and the noise levels.

Following the noise concerns, the council’s environmental health team arranged for monitoring to take place over the period of a week in October.

The planning report says: “The results of that monitoring revealed that the movement of metal within the application site generated noise that he regarded as excessive and disturbing to residents.”

Another monitoring exercise took place in February and March this year, which confirmed the noise levels were considered to be excessive.  The site benefits from a Natural Resources Wales permit and a scrap metal licence, which are not affected by the planning application.

The applicant has claimed the planning permission is not needed for the waste processing to take place.

However, Torfaen council officers say that the permission granted in 1972 only allows a specific form of waste processing.

Had it been approved the development would have created between 15 and 20 jobs in the area.  The planning report says: “It is the council’s position that the site does not benefit from a planning status whereby the present use can lawfully operate without the benefit of a planning permission.”

Speaking in the meeting Cllr Stuart Ashley said he was “horrified” that this application had come before the council.

The decision to refuse the application can be appealed.