Plans for Kidderminster incinerator Stalled as Council Re-Open Consultation
Last October, I reported that Wyre Forest Against Incineration were campaigning to stop the construction of an incinerator from being built locally. It appears that the information Power Generation Midlands presented at the time was misleading, or lacking in detail, as objections from the public pointed out. Consequently, Worcestershire County Council has reopened its public consultation which will now run until April 1st.
The decision by the Worcestershire County Council to reopen the public consultation on the so called Kidderminster ‘Energy Park’ has been welcomed by ‘Wyre Forest Against Incineration’ (WFAI). The fact the proposed site is being referred to as an ‘Energy Park’ is quite the attempt at greenwashing on the part of the County Council, despite the plan being to build a literal incinerator.
Stephen Brown, WFAI’s spokesperson, said about the Council’s announcement:
“Reopening the consultation vindicates the objections raised. It also helps cuts right through propaganda by Power Generation Midlands (PGM) which was designed to greenwash it by presenting it as an environmentally sound plan when it isn’t. They had hoped all the expensive spin they put out might help mislead people to see it breeze through the planning process unchallenged. So, we were pleased to see the Council respond in this way and recognise the issues. I’d urge people to send in their objections again, including any updated points you want to make. This environmental folly can and must be stopped.”
WFAI activists will be meeting in the near future to discuss a more detailed response for this round of consultation; but the following points show how the proposal has been misleading:
- PGM has now conceded that waste will be sourced from “across Worcestershire and bordering areas” rather than “locally” as initially claimed – and we still have no real guarantee that HGVs will not be coming from further afield.
- PGM has conceded that only 13.5% of the waste might be renewable – wood and fuel waste – so it can’t be called a ‘renewable’ facility.
- They have dismissed concerns about visual blight caused by the 50-metre stack and 21-metre high buildings, despite it being contrary to Wyre Forest District planning requirements.
- Despite their claims about it being a green solution to waste, they have not provided a Carbon Assessment. They’ve simply referred to ‘typical’ incinerator performance, so we have no idea what CO2 emissions will come from this plant.
- They say there is no evidence that property prices are impacted by the presence of an “Energy Recovery Facility”. However, in Runcorn, Cheshire, homes have been devalued by such a plant as evidenced by council tax reductions.
- They claim that their proposed facility, processing 75,000 tonnes of waste per annum, will not compete with the Hartlebury Incinerator. Hartlebury has an available capacity for 60,000 tonnes of this waste, so their claim does not add up.
- They did not respond to the request for a proper assessment of alternative sites.
- They have dubiously claimed that the 24/7 noise and light from the site will not have negative impacts on the ecology of the adjacent Wilden Marsh SSSI, canal and River Stour.
‘Wyre Forest Against Incineration’ is an inclusive campaign group formed across parties and individuals to stop harmful incinerators in order to protect our valuable local environment and preserve people’s health and well-being. The group argue there is no need for another Incinerator in the area when considering that there is one less than four miles away from the proposed Stourport Rd site.
If you share Wyre Forest Against Incineration view that PGM tried to mislead people, you can object using the following ways and quoting Planning Application 20/000034/CM.
- By sending an email to DEVControlTeam@worcestershire.gov.uk
- Writing to: Development Control Manager, Worcestershire County Council, Directorate of Economy and Infrastructure, County Hall, WR5 2NP
- Paste/type your objection into the WCC online form: http://eplanning.worcestershire.gov.uk/swift/apas/run/wphmakerep.displayURL?ApnID=20/000034/CM