A WASTE firm that was refused Planning permission for a controversial waste burner is appealing against the decision, the Argus has learned.

Veolia thinks there is a strong case for its proposal for an incinerator at Llanwern Steelworks, but one campaigner said it would fly in the face of democracy if the decision of Newport council planning committee was overturned by the Planning Inspectorate for Wales.

The decision by Veolia was welcomed by Prosiect Gwyrdd, the body which is seeking a firm to deal with five South Wales councils’ non-recyclable waste.

It has also emerged the body’s process for selecting a bidder has been delayed – with a preferred bidder not due to be selected until early next year.

Veolia must get planning permission to build the incinerator but is also competing against a bid from Viridor, a firm that has started to build an incinerator in Cardiff.

Robert Hunt, Veolia Environmental Services executive director, said the company strongly believes the case for the incinerator was already demonstrated, as reflected in the recommendation for approval made by officers to the committee.

Mr Hunt said the firm believes it has worked to “more than address” ecological concerns.

“We don’t believe it will have an adverse effect on the highways issues. We believe the effect on the housing development will be very low indeed,” he said.

The executive director couldn’t give a certain date for when the appeal might be heard, but believes it “should be some time next year”. It is not known whether there will be a planning inquiry.

The firm was denied planning permission amid ecological concerns, traffic worries and claims that it could turn the nearby Glan Llyn housing development into a ghost estate.

Pippa Bartollotti, of Stop Newport Incinerator Campaign, said: “The council in Newport are clearly against incineration. People have spoken. If they grant permission at appeal then it would fly right in the face of democracy.”

A spokesman for Prosiect Gwyrdd said he was pleased at the appeal because “we want two strong competitive bids”.

A preferred bidder will be identified in early 2013, later than originally planned, but put downto the change in the local council administrations following the elections rather than the appeal.