A CHIRK town councillor who spoke against a recent planning application submitted by one of the town’s factories said he hopes the business can be more transparent in the community.

Councillor Gareth Baines spoke against Kronospan’s application to create two new gas engines to help power the factory, with the plans being deferred amid concerns over air and noise pollution.

The factory has been the subject of numerous complaints regarding air and noise pollution over the years.

Cllr Baines said the ideal outcome would have been to see the application turned down all-together.

“[The deferment] is a small victory,” he said. “Obviously seeing the application rejected all-together would have been the preferred outcome.

“I think if the application is ever given the go-ahead, then independent monitoring would be a constructive compromise.

“We hope the county council keeps its word on that.”

Cllr Baines addressed a number of issues when he appeared in front of members of the planning committee, including the positioning of new fans on the roof, dust and noise pollution and an increase to the number of lorries travelling in and out of the site.

He also highlighted the potential for independent monitoring which would allow members of the public to monitor the pollution caused by the factory.

Cllr Baines said this would be a good way of building trust between the factory and the town’s residents.

He said: “We hope Kronospan takes action to build better trust with the community in which they operate.

“I don’t see why they wouldn’t co-operate in that way.

“By the time it returns to county council, hopefully the council and Kronospan have held constructive talks about independent monitoring.

“If Kronospan has nothing to hide, it’s the easiest way to see that they’re complying.”

“It would be good PR for them to show that they’re complying and showing their results.

“Until then, the trust remains elusive.”

A spokesman for Kronospan said: “The Kronospan site is a highly regulated site and it is monitored and audited regularly by independent agencies, including Natural Resources Wales and Wrexham Council.

“Periodic emissions monitoring is required by our permit conditions and takes place using an independent MCERTS accredited laboratory who analyse the results before they are presented to the regulatory authorities.

“Noise monitoring at sensitive off-site receptors takes place on a regular basis, by both Kronospan and the regulator.

“The independent monitoring that is being called for would be a duplication of those things that are already required by, paid for, and provided for, in the existing environmental permits for the site.”