A NEW access road, plus air and noise pollution, were among the matters discussed at a recent public meeting regarding a Chirk-based factory.

The meeting was arranged to allow the public to raise any issues or ask any questions about the Kronospan site in the town.

It was called after a private meeting previously took place, attended by Ken Skates AM and Susan Elan Jones MP.

Councillor Gareth Baines attended the meeting and believes it was received well by all who were there.

He said: “[The meeting was arranged] basically to clear the air a bit and reaffirm that the public can have their say on the factory, as well as making them aware that we as councillors are listening to them, as well as the shadow member.

“It was specifically really about the proposed access road and the perceptions about emissions problems.

“It was well-attended – there were some criticisms about it with regards to the time of day it was held, but that was the only time the assembly member was available.

“From the feedback we have seen on Facebook following the meeting, it seems to have been well-regarded too.”

Cllr Baines has given his backing to independent monitoring of air pollution levels in the area.

He also said he believes a separate access road for factory traffic would be beneficial to the area.

“Questions were asked about independent monitoring – there is a lack of trust between the community and Kronospan,” he said.

“People have asked about a cloud-based independent monitoring system which could be accessed by the public – that way, with the data being public, there would be no hiding the issue.

“The pollution is an issue – the permit from Kronospan states that no pollution will leave the perimeter of the factory. On a weekly basis though, we see complaints of dust particles and wood fibre on people’s cars and in their gardens.

“All we’re after is for it to improve and for the factory to be a better neighbour.”

“I think independent monitoring will be the way forward.

“Personally, I also think anything that gets the volume of vehicles travelling through the centre of the village, down, is a good idea.”

He also thinks it would be beneficial to hold another meeting in the future.

“Mark Isherwood AM has gone away and has a few things to do, but when he’s back with us, we will hopefully have another consultation meeting.

“If he can do it, the preference would be that the meeting takes place in the evening next time.”

A spokesman for Kronospan said: “Unfortunately Kronospan is unable to make any comment on the public meeting that took place last week as there is a group litigation claim that is ongoing by some Chirk residents.”