Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has ordered a skip hire company to stop accepting some materials at its site due to a pollution risk.
Porthmadog Skip Hire had appealed last autumn against a legal suspension notice issued by NRW to stop it taking any more wood or degradable waste onto its site at Penamser Industrial Estate.
The Planning Inspectorate has now upheld NRW’s stance and the company cannot accept any more wood or degradable waste at the site until it complies with the conditions of its environmental permit.
Under the terms of their environmental permit the company can keep up to 5,000 tonnes of waste per year on the site (pictured), which must be stored in appropriate areas.
NRW estimated that there is currently 7,800 tonnes of waste on site stored incorrectly.
Operations manager for NRW, David Powell said: “The decision to stop wood and degradable waste being brought on to the site is a last resort, but there is a risk to people in Porthmadog and the surrounding environment.
“Waste sites have a permit setting out rules which they have to follow so they don’t pose a risk to the environment and local people.
“We gave the company every opportunity to comply with the conditions in their permit but they have not done this.”
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has also raised concerns about the site and issued a notification of major deficiencies, highlighting issues that need to be addressed to reduce the risk of fire.
County safety manager at NWFRS, Geraint Hughes said: “A fire at this premises could potentially tie up our resources for a considerable length of time, put the lives of our firefighters and of the public at risk, as well as cause irreversible damage to the environment.
“The potential for such a fire to spread to neighbouring properties is of great concern to us and this is a risk that we simply cannot ignore.”
A spokesperson for the company told MRW it had a longstanding agreement with a nearby recycling to accept wood but movement of the waste had not been possible because of a planning issue. This has now been resolved so it can now take wood waste to the centre to be processed.
The company spokesperson reaffirmed to MRW that a complete ban on waste had not been enforced.
They said: “Due to recent changes in NRW guidance we have been striving to achieve the reduced storage levels for wood required at our site in Porthmadog.
“We have been working hard with NRW and the local Fire Service to put measures in place to reduce any risk to the environment.
“We are confident that the site can meet the regulatory requirements and we look forward to being able to offer our full service to customers in the near future. In the meantime the business is still operational and still open for business.”