Javelin Park campaign - Stroud MP meets with Eric Pickles to discuss possibility of call-in
STROUD MP Neil Carmichael has held discussions with the communities secretary Eric Pickles to discuss the circumstances under which the Javelin Park planning application might be ‘called-in’.
Speaking to the SNJ, Mr Carmichael said that during their meeting the secretary of state outlined the criteria which would need to be met before he could intervene.
He said Mr Pickles emphasised he would only authorise a call-in if the planning application either conflicted with national policies, had a significant long-term impact on economic-growth, or had a demonstrable effect beyond its immediate locality – making it an issue of national significance.
"Eric reminded me about the call-in process and he drew attention to the issues that effectively determine how successful a call-in will be," said Mr Carmichael.
"The key thing here is that the government quite rightly believes that planning decisions should be taken by the local councils and that call-in powers are used sparingly."
Mr Carmichael said his Conservative colleague would need to take a close look at whether the site was suitable for a facility as large as the proposed Javelin Park incinerator.
But he voiced doubts about the viability of alternative technologies being touted by opposition groups, saying he believed they were just as expensive as incineration, if not more so.
"We do need to find an alternative to landfill and in my opinion there is an absence of any realistic alternatives to incineration," he said.
However, Mr Carmichael’s stance is in stark contrast to the one adopted by Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood who believes better alternatives to incineration do exist.
Writing to Gloucestershire County Council last week to object to the proposals, he said: "Gasification and gas plasma technology may both offer more efficient and more environmentally-friendly alternatives in the future. Mechanical biological treatment and anaerobic digestion already do."