Wiltshire Publications

Town council to ‘stand up for Westbury’ over planned waste plant

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 at 12:28 pm.

WESTBURY Town Council has reassured the community that they will be ‘the voice that represents the people of Westbury’ in the battle over the proposed advanced thermal treatment (ATT) facility, planned for the Northacre site in Westbury.

During an extraordinary meeting, called on Tuesday 27th March at The Laverton, questions were put to the town council by local people, regarding the proposed plant.

Although the plant has already been given planning permission, opponents are still hoping the plant can be stopped because of the need for the operators, Hills Waste Solutions, to gain an environmental permit from the Environment Agency. Campaigners against the proposal say the need for the permit gives them a final chance to stop the development or ensure that environmental concerns are taken fully into account.

Stephen Eades, representative for Friends of The Earth in Wiltshire, during the public forum said, “If you, the town council, want to defeat it, say no to the ATT plant – then it is going to be extremely difficult.

“The only way this will be able to be done is basically by Westbury Town Council as a whole representing the people and community of this town on a non-partisan basis and making a submission to the Environment Agency on why you do not want to see this incinerator built.

“It is essential that Westbury Town Council lead the community in this way. If you leave this matter just to individual representation, then i’m afraid I don’t believe that the environmental permit will be rejected.

“There are a number of obstacles which you face. The whole community here faces an uphill task, and that  is to persuade the Environment Agency to come to a decision which says ‘no’. You need to have given your response very careful thought, very careful structure, very clear detailing of what you expect the environmental permit to be doing.

“I propose that you submit a cross-party non-partisan submission concentrating on evidence and fact, and that is absolutely essential. It is very likely that the Hills’ application will be deficient in many ways and you need to make these very clear, The Environment Agency’s decision may be weak, missing out on important points, and the way you structure your submission will be of vital importance.”

Margaret Cavanna, a member of the Westbury Gasification group added, “My request is that the councillors please take the time to understand and respond to the genuine concerns and opposition to the ATT development, that I think were clearly expressed at the public meeting as well as in the follow up.”

The theme of wanting representation from Westbury Town Council continued throughout the public forum, where many residents used their allotted time to  share their views.

David Levy expressed to members of the council,  “I look to you to be standing up to the people, it is not something that you want in your community. I really appeal to all of you to stand up for the people who voted for you.”

Westbury town councillors voted to send a united message to the Environment Agency representing the feelings of the community about the proposed plant.

Cllr Mike Sutton said, “I think it is important to understand that Westbury Town Council does not have any power to affect planning.

“What we do have, which is how we represent the people, we do have a voice and we should make that voice very clear. If the town council have anything, it is to influence the powers that be. I urge that we throw our weight behind a large proportion of Westbury. It’s not perfect, but it gives the town a voice and it takes things forward.”

One Response to Town council to ‘stand up for Westbury’ over planned waste plant

  1. Dan Gmaj

    April 12, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Well done Westbury Town Council, you are the only hope that our community have to keep the air that we breathe clean to keep our spiraling population healthy for future generations. What was rejected for the outskirts of Swindon on environmental grounds is a complete non starter in out smaller geographical area. Sorry #Hills, your #Gasification plant is not welcome here. Revise your plans and keep friends in our town. You know it makes sense.

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