Javelin Park incinerator proposal 'unacceptable', says GlosVAIN chairman at public inquiry
GLOSVAIN chairman Sue Oppenheimer has ripped into controversial plans for an incinerator at Javelin Park, branding the £500 million project ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unsuitable for the site’.
Taking the stand at the public inquiry into the scheme on Wednesday (December 11), Ms Oppenheimer insisted that incineration was the wrong technology and that not enough waste was being produced in the county to justify building such a large-scale facility.
Ms Oppenheimer also took aim at Gloucestershire County Council’s previous administration, accusing them of ‘refusing to engage in open discussion and debate about alternative waste technologies’, and she said ‘excessive secrecy and frequent use of commercial confidentiality’ had undermined public confidence in the project and prevented effective scrutiny of it.
Speaking at The Hallmark Hotel in Matson, where the planning inquiry is being held, the chairman of Standish Parish Council also offered the inspector a brief history of the scheme.
When purchasing land at Javelin Park back in 2007, Ms Oppenheimer said the county council had failed to take into account the fact that the secretary of state had imposed a planning restriction on the site, limiting the height of buildings to 15.7m.
Summing up, she also criticised the length of the contract GCC signed with waste firm Urbaser Balfour Beatty for the facility.
“Entering into a 25-year fixed price inflexible contract when the market is changing so rapidly is not sensible, and ignores the evidence that flexibility is going to be an essential aspect of sustainable waste management over the next two decades,” she said.
“The main conclusion from my evidence is that the process followed and decisions made by GCC have resulted in a proposal that is unacceptable.
“The appellant’s project would not be the most appropriate technology as identified by GCC, would be unsuitable for the site, and is designed to meet needs erroneously calculated several years ago.
“The need for the proposal is very different now and in the foreseeable future.”
However, in his evidence submitted to the inquiry UBB’s Nick Roberts says “there is a demonstrable and overriding sustainable waste management need for the appeal proposal.”
He adds that it would make “a very significant and positive contribution towards the delivery of the Government’s climate change programme and energy policies.”
Meanwhile, UBB’s Simon Aumônier has defended the use of incineration, saying: “Many technologies might potentially be used for the treatment of residual waste and its diversion from landfill. However, none is as widely applied in the market as energy-from-waste.
“The technology is proven and deliverable and is widely considered to be the most robust solution available for the recovery of residual municipal waste.”
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