NEWSFLASH: SHOULD THE BARRY INCINERATOR QUALIFY FOR SUBSIDY?

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Remember this green shed? That was the ‘Biomass’ plant which got planning permission in 2010. Keep this in mind and read on…..

For some time DIAG has been looking into the subsidy which will fund this monstrosity. We have now written to Alun Cairns MP because we have grounds to believe Aviva SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CLAIM THE PUBLIC SUBSIDY, funded by energy bill payers. We have asked him to lobby the regulator OFGEM to investigate this situation.

WHY?
It’s complicated, but basically we understand the incinerator is relying on an old subsidy called ROC. ROC finished last year and a new type of subsidy is now in place – which the Barry incinerator wouldn’t qualify for because it is too inefficient. However in 2014 some developers were granted ROC ‘grace periods’ to ensure continuity and ‘enable financial decisions’. The Barry incinerator was given a grace period until March 31st 2018 ie they have less than a week to go to claim ROC accreditation off Ofgem. (Side note: remember NRW keep saying the developer hasn’t even started commissioning yet, and the council are denying they are in occupation.)

But let’s rewind…..we now know that the original developer was granted a grace period on the basis of the OLD ‘GREEN SHED’ 2010 PLANNING PERMISSION, and, it appears, well before Aviva invested.

In our view, the plant Aviva have actually built (planning granted 2015, with outstanding planning conditions) should not qualify.

Ofgem know about the new 2015 planning – but why should this be allowed? Especially given all the on-site planning variations still aren’t sorted.

The plant may have the same name, but it is fundamentally different to the 2010 plant that was granted the grace period – and the law clearly says the grace period is for the plant.

(Message for Aviva – given the lack of consultation we have pieced this together ourselves. Please feel free to let us know if we’ve missed anything).

We think this explains the rush to build, the inconsiderate nature of the construction, the lack of environmental impact assessment, the council hanging back on enforcing planning breaches, and NRW’s obvious fear of being sued (they said they had no ‘defensible’ reason to reject the permit).

Who thinks our health and well-being have been the priority?

And for billpayers across the country, why should they fund this highly inefficient plant to the tune of millions and millions of pounds? If value for money for billpayers is a priority for the U.K. government, they must act.

The council must step up and enforce planning law, NRW must start doing their job and regulate. Ofgem and Alun Cairns’ cabinet colleague energy secretary Greg Clarke must investigate this messy situation and STOP THE SUBSIDY.

TAKE ACTION:

Below is a pre-drafted ‘urgent call’ letter which you can send off by filling in your name and address. Emails will be sent directly to those that are responsible for our future Well-being.

Template letter and how to use it:

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1. Add your specific details to the main body of the text
2. Fill out name and address below
3. Hit the send button.
[ecampaign] {to* greg.clark.mp@parliament.uk, alun.cairns.mp@parliament.uk, consumeraffairs@ofgem.gov.uk,

Carwyn.Jones@assembly.wales, Hannah.Blythyn@assembly.wales, Lesley.Griffiths@assembly.wales, Jane.Hutt@assembly.wales, andrewrt.davies@assembly.wales,

Claire.pillman@naturalresources.wales, Diane.Mcree@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk, communications@naturalresources.wales,

jwthomas@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk, drthomas@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk, planning@beautifulbarry.co.uk,

contactus@futuregenerations.wales, press@dwrcymru.com,
}
{subject* ‘SHOULD THE BARRY INCINERATOR QUALIFY FOR SUBSIDY?}
{body
I have just seen this information from Barry’s Docks Incinerator Action Group:

‘For some time DIAG has been looking into the subsidy which will fund this monstrosity. We have now written to Alun Cairns MP because we have grounds to believe Aviva should not be allowed to claim the subsidy, funded by energy bill payers. We have asked him to lobby the regulator OFGEM to investigate this situation.

WHY?
It’s complicated, but basically we understand the incinerator is relying on an old subsidy called ROC. ROC finished last year and a new type of subsidy is now in place – which we understand the Barry incinerator wouldn’t qualify for because it is too inefficient. However in 2014 some developers were granted ROC ‘grace periods’ to ensure continuity and ‘enable financial decisions’. Barry Biomass’s developer was given a grace period until March 31st 2018 ie they have less than a week to go to claim ROC accreditation off Ofgem.

But let’s rewind…..We now know that the Barry incinerator developer was granted a grace period on the basis of the OLD 2010 PLANNING PERMISSION, and, it appears, well before Aviva invested.

In our view, the plant they have actually built (planning granted 2015, with outstanding planning conditions) should not qualify.

The developer apparently did tell Ofgem about the new 2015 planning – but why should this be allowed? Especially given all the on-site planning variations still aren’t sorted.

The plant may have the same name, but it is fundamentally different to the 2010 plant that was granted the grace period – and the law clearly says the grace period is for the plant, not the developer.’

DIAG have based this on information obtained from Ofgem, and as far as they are aware Ofgem has disclosed all relevant information.

At the very least this situation demands further investigation and all organisations involved must examine whether they have been influenced by the developer’s subsidy deadline.

To the leader of the council and the chief executive of the council, the council’s planning officers must enforce the law and the outstanding planning conditions and variations. The developer should be prevented from commissioning until the planning is resolved.

To the chief executive of NRW, you must investigate whether the NRW team dealing with the Barry Biomass permit application has been influenced by the subsidy deadline and whether this explains why they ignored their own guidance on conducting high-public interest consultation.

To Hannah Blythyn and the Welsh Government, please enforce the environmental impact assessment and review whether the developer should be allowed to occupy and commission the plant in the meantime.

To Alun Cairns MP, please ensure Ofgem are held to account on this subsidy decision and are not allowed to gloss over the issues identified by DIAG. At the very least any decision to grant the subsidy should be fully explained.

Yours sincerely
}

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