FURTHER expansion of manufacturing capacity at the BAE Systems arms factory near Usk is being planned. 

The multinational firm has put forward initial plans for a new manufacturing facility on vacant land at its site at Glascoed between Pontypool and Usk. 

It has submitted an environmental impact assessment “scoping request” to Monmouthshire County Council as it “proposes to develop a new energetics manufacturing facility on vacant land within the eastern part of the existing BAE Glascoed site”. 

An environmental impact assessment is intended to consider all the consequences, good and bad, of a particular planning application on the environment. The council, or the Welsh Government, could require an environmental impact assessment or it could be decided one isn’t required for the application. 

There are no further details related to the application available on Monmouthshire council’s planning website and the application is being considered. 

Previously planning applications for the site have been accompanied by statements, from the council, which state due to the “sensitive nature of the site, full details of the application can only be viewed by appointment” at County Hall and that no information can be copied, retained or published. 

In January this year it came to light work on a new bomb-making building at the factory had started without planning permission and in April there was an explosion at the site. 

After the explosion shook the area, then MP David Davies said, “I have spoken at length with senior management at BAE Systems. I understand it was an explosion that happened in a remote part of the site that had been set aside to take apart shells and this was being done by remote control. The explosion did not cause any injuries, evacuation procedures were immediately instigated and everything was thoroughly checked,” said Mr Davies

 “I am told there is always a small risk involved in this particular operation, which is exactly why it is carried out with remote control in a restricted area of the site. There were no risks to any members of the public.”