Neil Carmichael will not say if he is for or against incinerator ahead of planning meeting
STROUD MP Neil Carmichael has refused to say if he would vote for or against the proposed Javelin Park incinerator if he was sitting on the planning committee tasked with deciding the controversial £500 million application later this month.
Contrary to reports suggesting he had taken a stand against the facility, Mr Carmichael told the SNJ that his position had not changed and he would await the planning committee's verdict on March 21 before deciding whether or not to side with opponents of the scheme.
The Tory MP said he had three concerns about the proposal - lorry movements, incinerator emissions and its visual impact.
He said if his concerns were addressed by the county council's planning committee he would consider supporting the development but if they were not he would contemplate asking the secretary of state Eric Pickles to call it in.
"My views have not changed. I have already written to the council saying I have three concerns," he said.
Speaking about the visual impact, Mr Carmichael said: "I am hoping that we will hear that various mitigation measures will be in place to make it acceptable. If it appears that no changes have been made it should not be supported."
He added: "I have said that they need to make absolutely sure that local residents feel properly involved in the decision making process and that they are not put at a significant disadvantage... If it comes to pass that on March 21 people are still dissatisfied we will have to look at the possibility of a call-in."
GlosVAIN's Sue Oppenheimer said: "It is encouraging to here that he will review his position once the planning committee has made its decision and I very much hope that if they decide to approve it he will join the huge numbers of his constituents asking the secretary of state to call it in."
However, former Stroud MP David Drew urged Mr Carmichael to join with the opposition and request a call-in.
"This is a black and white issue, you are either for or against it. You can't sit on the fence, you have to stand up and be counted," he said.
"This incinerator is the wrong way of disposing of waste because it will suppress recycling. There are better alternatives."