ANTI-INCINERATOR campaigners have written to the Secretary of State Eric Pickles in a last-ditched attempt to bolster their case against the £500 million waste burner being proposed for the Javelin Park site near Haresfield.
With just over a month to go until the communities secretary is due to decide the fate of the controversial project, GlosVAIN’s chairman Sue Opponheimer has sent a letter to the Conservative MP to flag up new evidence that the protest group feel ought to be taken into account.
Ms Oppenheimer raises four key objections in her correspondence based on new developments ranging from the recent approval of a new recycling facility at Bishops Cleeve to the findings of a June report from the National Audit Office which casts doubt on whether the taxpayer gets value for money from long-term incineration contracts.
The letter also seeks to draw Mr Pickles’ attention to a report published by waste consultants two months ago which suggests that the UK does not need any new incinerators.
Finally, GlosVAIN note a recent decision by the communities secretary to reject planning permission for a similar facility at Hatfield in Hertfordshire, arguing that the grounds for refusal on the basis of the visual impact of the facility are applicable to the Javelin Park proposal.
Ms Oppenheimer, the head of GlosVAIN and chairman of Haresfield Parish Council, says the need for the Javelin Park facility is ‘undermined’ by the county council’s approval of a new 30,000 tonnes per annum anaerobic digestion plant and a new 70,000 tonnes per annum pre-treatment, recycling and bulking facility at Wingmoor Farm in Bishops Cleeve.
She then argues that a review by waste consultants Eunomia “provides further evidence of sufficient residual waste capacity in England without the need for the Javelin Park facility.”
In their report Eunomia claim that the UK will reach a situation of incineration overcapacity by 2018/19 even if no new incinerators are approved.
The chairman of GlosVAIN concludes her letter by saying: “This new information adds further weight to the decision of Gloucestershire County Council’s planning committee to refuse this application, and to the case for you to refuse this appeal.”
However, Urbaser Balfour Beatty, the multinational consortium behind the project, insist there is a ‘demonstrable and overriding need’ for the facility.
The company say the incinerator would help divert waste from landfill while producing much needed renewable energy.
Eric Pickles, the secretary of state for communities and local Government, will announced the outcome of UBB’s appeal on September 17.