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Incinerator call-in to Government by environmental expert

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 30, 2013

Comments (12)

AN environmental expert has told the Government it must review Gloucestershire's incinerator plans.

Jonathan Porritt, the 62-year-old environmental writer, wants communities minister Eric Pickles to 'call in' the controversial £500million burner plans for Haresfield for an urgent review.

But the Government has refused the call-in, which is backed by Stroud District Council, because it says the plans must first be decided upon by Gloucestershire councillors at their meeting in February.

In a letter to the Government, Mr Porritt said: "This proposal has caused considerable concern across a very wide cross-section of people in Gloucestershire.

"The decision-making process provides something of a case study in how not to proceed in cases of this kind, and there remains a huge number of unanswered questions regarding this specific application."

He adds that while he has previously supported waste-to-energy plants, he can't back the Gloucestershire site.

South West MEP William Dartmouth also made a similar call-in request to Mr Pickles.

He said: "The incinerator will have an unacceptable visual impact."

Javier Peiro, project director for waste firm Urbaser Balfour Beatty, who want to build the burner, said: "In his letter, he is unclear about what his concerns are regarding the technology and location.

"We are in the process of writing to Mr Porritt to provide the data we believe he needs in order to make a fully informed decision.

"In the short term, however, we can confirm that the procurement process that Gloucestershire County Council conducted was open to submissions for all technologies.

"In Gloucestershire, following lengthy consideration, Urbaser Balfour Beatty determined that an energy-from-waste facility would be the most appropriate technology to apply."

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  • Ysedra  |  January 30 2013, 4:09PM

    I do try that, Lecorche. It's still not very useful for findind more recent topics. Sometimes, only stories from years back turn up.

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  • zerowaster  |  January 30 2013, 12:35PM

    Just to clarify, the Government hasn't refused to call this in. They can only call something in after a council has made a decision, and then only if the council decides to approve planning permission on a controversial issue. So if the GCC planning committee decide to do the right thing and refuse permission, the government doesn't need to get involved. But if councillors ignore all the planning reasons why permission should be refused and instead make a decision based on political dogma, then the Government will consider whether to call it in. Lobbying the Government now helps to make Pickles realise that this is an issue that thousands of local people care about, that local people don't trust the council, and that there are some very solid reasons for refusing permission - so hopefully he should be well suspicious if planning is approved!

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  • Lecorche  |  January 30 2013, 11:18AM

    Try this Ysedra. http://tinyurl.com/ah4ncds

  • Ysedra  |  January 30 2013, 11:18AM

    OK, now we seem to have just six news pages... I think I was wrong about the article, by the way. It was the boundary change story (I remember thinking it has five comments, so it shouldn't be going anywhere soon): http://tinyurl.com/aohdk4j

  • Ysedra  |  January 30 2013, 9:59AM

    Unfortunately, a lot of councillors seem to be like mushrooms and take whatever their leaders feed them. I wonder if, instead of going to see an incinerator working, they shouldn't have gone to see a council that had built one, and how that had worked out for them financially?

  • Ysedra  |  January 30 2013, 9:51AM

    Before someone else says it, I see that story has a Monday dateline. I'm still fairly sure it was the one I saw. TiG do sometimes re-post an article, apparently fresh-minted, a few days after the original. Maybe they deleted it while I was looking at/posting on this one...

  • Ysedra  |  January 30 2013, 9:44AM

    Having looked through the various sections and got to 'Politics', I'm pretty sure it was this story, about mobile libraries, and the 'new' service... http://tinyurl.com/b7w2s8j

  • BishopHooper  |  January 30 2013, 9:39AM

    I too took this up with the then tory councillor for Quedgeley, she wasn't interested and told me most blatant lies that have since proved to be as I said. It does really make me wonder what is the actual thought process here with GCC. They do not listen to the public, they think they know better and they are dragging s towards something that no one apart from them actually want.

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  • Ysedra  |  January 30 2013, 9:34AM

    Does anyone know how to read comments on page '11'? Page 10 ends with this story, even though it's from today (thanks to Stroud News bumping articles down, I'm sure), but there was a story I was going to click on after this one, and it's gone now, with no page 11 to find it on. Thanks to my increasingly erratic memory, I can't quite remember what the story was about, only that I was going to read it next, so I can't do a search, assuming a search would actually work, because that function isn't exactly TiG's shining moment either. So how poor a show is it that actual stories from today can fall off the edge of the news pages?

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  • Ysedra  |  January 30 2013, 9:19AM

    The weak link for the council, county *or* city, is the 'consultation' process. Ask either of them to explain how consultation was invited on any issue, but first take hold of your jaw to stop it dropping...

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