19 Oct 2009

Waste Core Strategy Site Options Consultation

Waste Core Strategy Site Options Consultation is open until 30th November and it would be great if more people could respond. There is an e-questionnaire but it doesn't really allow for a full response so I have written an initial letter below.

There is a link to the relevant webpage on the GCC website home page: http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/

The County Council is consulting on 13 possible sites for waste disposal. However, the consultation does not cover methods/technologies, which might be installed on those sites. Nor does it ask whether we want one big facility or several small ones. The County Council says it is 'technology neutral', but as noted before, many of us fear the outcome will be a large incinerator on one of these sites.

Already a number of Parish Councils, SWARD, Gloucestershire Friends of the Earth and local Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party representatives are opposing a large incinerator on any of the sites. Instead we support more recycling and other technologies, such as Mechanical Biological Treatment including Anaerobic Digestion, that are less polluting, better for the environment and for climate change, better for health and better for the taxpayer. We also support several smaller sites to reduce the transporting of waste.

There are 13 sites listed and these have been identified from a list of more than 300 sites using strict criteria including transport links and prevention of flooding. The consultation is a statutory process. We are told clearly that there are no plans for any of the sites, indeed there’s no guarantee that a site would be used just because it’s included in the plan. This is a planning process that has to be gone through. The results of the consultation will be analysed then a report is scheduled to go to Cabinet next summer for approval. The final document will be ratified by the Secretary of State before it is finally adopted in 2011. Anyway here is my initial letter:

Minerals and Waste Planning Policy
Environment Department
Gloucestershire County Council, Shire Hall

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write to object to the use of all 13 of the sites listed below for possible waste treatment in Gloucestershire (i). I do not feel the questionnaire or information provided allows me to comment in the way I wish, so I trust you accept this as an objection. If not please let me know well before the closing deadline.

I recognise that sites are urgently needed for waste treatment but it is hard to consider sites if we are unaware of what sort of facility or the size of the facility that could be on those sites. My key objection to all these sites is on the grounds that any of them could be used for a large incinerator. I do not consider that form of waste treatment suitable for any of the sites.

Incineration creates toxic fly ash residue which has to be transported and landfilled increasing risks to watercourses and nearby residents. Incineration contracts will be for at many years, locking us into a 'solution' which does not take account of the expected substantial reduction in the volume of waste nor of any newer more efficient and effective technologies which are being rapidly developed.

I have no doubts that the long term costs to the taxpayer and the environment will be higher with incineration. Even if we maximise recycling to 80%, incinerators can act as a disincentive to reduce, reuse and recycle. Mechanical Biological Treatment (including Anaerobic Digestion) technology is a proven alternative that better satisfies the criteria you are obliged to use and is better for the environment and for the taxpayer. I would be happy to consider that at a number of the sites you identify.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr. Philip Booth,
Stroud District councillor for the Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe ward

(i) Sites: Three areas at Wingmoor Farm West, Tewkesbury Easter Park, Ashchurch/Tewkesbury Industrial Estate, Tewkesbury Javelin Park, Haresfield, Stroud Land adjacent to Quadrant Business Centre, Quedgeley Land at Moreton Valence, Stroud Land north of Railway Triangle, Gloucester Nastend Farm, Stroudwater Business Park, Stonehouse, Stroud Netheridge Sewage Treatment Works, Gloucester The Park, Wingmoor Farm West, Tewkesbury Foss Cross Industrial Estate, north of Cirencester Hurst Farm, Lydney Land at Lydney Industrial Estate, Lydney

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