Wiltshire Publications

‘Prevention is better than cure’ Gasification plant protest group encourage community to make themselves heard

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 at 11:12 am.

THE Westbury Gasification Action Group (WGAG) is encouraging the community to continue to comment on the planning applications for the gasification plant and waste sorting station in Westbury.

Wiltshire Council has extended the deadline for comments to next Tuesday, 12th June and the group is encouraging people to act now as they say ‘prevention is better than cure’.

Member of the group, Jim Marley says, “It’s always a pleasure to see communities come together, and this year Westbury has seen the town pull together on more than one occasion, specifically on sheer overdevelopment on the town which increases the pressure on the very infrastructure that Westbury is built on.

“Luckily for Wiltshire residents, Wiltshire Council now has an approved policy called the Wiltshire Core Strategy, which a development proposal must comply with, whether it’s a commercial or residential development. This is an excellent source of information, and it has become increasingly useful during the campaign against the Gasification Plant and New Waste Sorting Station applications on the Northacre industrial estate. The policy covers everything from pollution and building design, to traffic management and residential amenities, odours and noise etc, plus much much more.

“After studying the Wiltshire Core Strategy, which is publically available on the Wiltshire Council website, there are various compliance areas that these applications do not meet, and therefore policy and lawful governance should prevail through Wiltshire Council during the consideration of the Northacre site applications.

“The Westbury Gasification Action Group has delivered over 3,000 leaflets to homes and businesses across Westbury and the surrounding areas, with key points detailed on the back for appropriate objection. These are valid areas that need to be considered in line with the Wiltshire Core Strategy, and anyone who wants to object to the Gasification Plant or a new Waste Sorting Station should also mention the non-compliances in their letter.

“We are told approximately 170,000 tonnes of waste matter is required to operate the gasification site in order to meet the electricity production requirements, but with only around 24% of the waste coming from Wiltshire household waste, the approximate remaining 76% (or 129,00 tonnes) will be potentially sourced from commercial waste and areas outside of Wiltshire, which gives question to the need of such a facility in Wiltshire, let alone Westbury.

“This is estimated to create thousands of additional lorry journeys every month, clogging up the road infrastructure in and around the town and further more, contributing towards the poor air quality that Westbury currently has. We ask the bigger question to the council, why should Westbury suffer again, while other counties become better at waste management or outsource their problem?

“Obviously this adds to the massive concern of public health; increased lorry emissions and the chimney particle discharge, residents have no confidence with the emissions modelling and feel that this is only a guess at best which meets the EU requirements. With the omission of a detailed business plan confirming the content and the source of the additional waste, without knowing what goes in, who can tell what is coming out, and how can this information be relied upon for the consideration of a planning application, let alone determining the health of the public, considering that the proposed site is so close to the town centre, residential areas, and an employment hub of Wiltshire?

“These are separate and independent applications, which will see an increase to the waste being managed at the Northacre Industrial Estate if either of these applications were to be approved. Therefore I would encourage anyone who feels strongly against the new waste sorting station or the gasification site, their dominating characters and their potential effects, or if you feel that Westbury is not being treated equally against these policies, to write a letter with any concerns mentioning the Core Strategy and Wiltshire and Swindon Waste Core Strategy.

“The great news is the deadline for comment has now been extended to 12th June, which gives people more time to understand the consequences of the proposals and write a letter or an email to the council, referencing the application numbers 18/03816/WCM for the Gasification Plant and 18/03366/WCM for the additional Waste Sorting Station.

“These proposals will manage more than 4 times the amount of waste matter than the current waste management centre and if you have had any form of effect from the existing site on the Northacre Industrial estate, you should act now, because prevention is better than cure.”

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