A PUBLIC inquiry will be held into plans for a recycling plant in New Inn.

Waste management company Shanks Group hopes to develop an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at the site of the former Rechem incinerator plant.

Torfaen councillors rejected the planning application in April. The applicants then appealed to the Welsh Government.

Their appeal is to be heard at a public local inquiry on April 29. The inquiry is expected to last for four days in the Council Chamber, in Pontypool Civic Centre.

The AD plant is designed to recycle household food waste.

The process, which does not involve burning waste, produces a biogas, which will be used to generate renewable electricity. The output material can also be used as a soil nutrient.

An action group was set up to fight the plans: the New Inn Area Action Group.

A spokeswoman for the group said local residents were concerned about the risks of bad smells.

Torfaen council received more than 300 objections to the plans, concerning smells, noise, traffic congestion, vermin and the appearance of the site.

Shanks says the process will not be noisy, smelly or produce dust.

A Torfaen council spokesman explained that the council was expecting a further application from Shanks to create a new plant in Mamhilad.

He said the council had agreed with Shanks what environmental assessment details would be required on the former ICI site in Mamhilad if it were to be developed for use as an anaerobic digester facility.

“This assessment would be required as part of any planning application.”