The possible dangers of contaminated land and the risks to 30 jobs were pushed aside by councillors this morning as they forged ahead with a hugely controversial Milford Haven planning application.

Pembrokeshire Housing Association plans to build 17 houses and 20 flats on former Consolidated Beryllium (now CBL Ceramics) land off Marble Hall Road, Milford Haven.

Objectors say the site is not suitable for a residential development because they believe its former use as an MOD site and as a burial ground for waste from the Consolidated Beryllium factory has left the land contaminated.

Barbara Abeles, owner of CBL ceramics, has previously told the Western Telegraph that the future of her factory, and the 30 specialised jobs it provides, could be at risk if the development goes ahead.

She said that possible expansion of the factory would be hindered and the health and safety of the new residents could be at risk because industrial traffic will be routed through the development.

At this morning’s PCC Planning and Rights of Way Committee, however, Pembrokeshire County Council planning officers dismissed the objections made by residents and the factory owner.

Cllr David Howlett, who told the meeting that he had discussed the site with Milford councillor Stanley Hudson, said: “I think the grave concern for the public is Beryllium, I’m no chemist but I know that it is potentially dangerous.

“Have we really got to the bottom of whether there is actually Beryllium hiding there?”

Senior Environmental Health officer, Sarah Johns, replied by saying adequate checks had been done and that the Public Protection department was “happy from a human health perspective” with the development. Planning officers also told members that CBL Ceramics had the option of expanding on another section of disused land if it wished to do so.

The application was passed by a large majority, with only one member voting against.