A GOVERNMENT inspector has voiced concerns about Gloucestershire County Council's decision to locate an incinerator at Javelin Park
Brian Cook, who was appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to review GCC's waste core strategy, has warned in his final report that the site may be unsuitable for
such a large facility.
Mr Cook's findings also call into question claims that emissions would not have a significant effect on protected wildlife habitats.
The waste core strategy, which has yet to be formally adopted by GCC, outlines the county's plans for dealing with waste over the next 15 years.
Mr Cook's review started in January and involved several hearings at which interested parties gave evidence.
In his report, Mr Cook points out that Javelin Park is open to views from parts of the Cotswold AONB.
"The accommodation of any substantial built development that needs to include an emissions stack of any significant height would, in my opinion, present the designers with a challenge in the
distinctive landscape context," he says.
Mr Cook notes that there is a planning height limit on the site, which specifies that buildings should not be taller than 16.83 metres - but the planned incinerator stack would be 70 metres.
Urbaser Balfour Beatty has said it will attempt to minimise visual impact both through the design and use of special building materials.
Mr Cook, however, also takes issue with conclusions reached by consultants working on behalf of GCC, who were tasked with assessing the possible impact on designated European wildlife sites -
habitats including the Severn Estuary, the Cotswold Beechwoods and Rodborough Common.
The consultants found that emissions from the Javelin Park incinerator were not likely to have a significant effect on any of the sites.
However, Mr Cook said that conclusion could not be substantiated because the consultants had only modelled the effects of emissions from a facility processing some 100,000 tonnes a year, when
Javelin Park will be capable of burning up to 190,000 tonnes per annum.
Despite the inspector's reservations, GCC welcomed his report, saying it supports the authority's overall waste plan.
Chas Fellows, GCC cabinet member for planning, said: "I'm extremely pleased the independent inspector has agreed with our recommendations and judged our
strategy as sound.
"We have spent around six years working on this, gathering feedback and ensuring our plans were the most appropriate for our county."