Wiltshire Publications

Opposition to new waste plant proposals

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NEW plans for a waste treatment plant in Westbury have come under fire from environmental campaigners.

Northacre Renewable Energy, part of Hills Waste,  have resubmitted new plans for an advanced thermal treatment plant, claiming a ‘new and improved’ application with ‘significant benefits compared to existing plans’.

But campaigners are not impressed and are calling for community action to stop the plant being built in Westbury. 

Plans for a waste plant were rejected in July this year, but now Northacre has submitted updated plans.

They say, “The latest application marks a significant improvement upon existing planning permission, that was received in 2015, to develop a facility at the site, as it utilises the latest high efficiency technology. It also reflects the views of councillors who considered a previous application earlier in 2018, with the height of the proposed buildings and the footprint both being reduced and the cladding changed to minimise landscape and visual impact.”

However, the news of the resubmission has angered campaigners in Westbury. 

Members of the Westbury Gasification Action Group, who fought the original application, say they are now coming together once again to fight for the health and wellbeing of residents in the town.

Dan Gmaj, WGAG supporter said, “It’s no surprise that a resubmission has been made to build the ATT incinerator in Westbury.  ‘Questionable manipulation’ in County Hall at the last application refusal, against all environmental issues raised, objected to the application on ‘size’ alone. This was an action that has almost certainly ensured they will get permission with this re-submission unless our community act together to convince Wiltshire Council to support waste solutions, not environmental pollution! 

“Plants such as these in private hands are encouraging the ‘antithesis of modern recycling and waste solution thinking’ by ‘requiring’ a continuous stream of waste at a time when we are all reducing our domestic waste output. Questionable waste will be brought in from many sources, without regular checks, and burnt on our doorstep at this unsuitable ‘town side site’ so close to many new housing developments.  

“Our town council is fully behind us and I have publically asked them to ‘get in front’ and start making some noise while I urge our community to continue to support the health and wellbeing of our town by supporting the Westbury Gasification Action Group (WGAG). You can do this by contacting westburygag@gmail.com and asking for more information.”   

In a letter to White Horse News David Davis said, “If any of us believed we live in a democratic society, we were mistaken. If I had not witnessed what has occurred I would have not believed it. Wiltshire Council and the Hills company have shown a total disregard to the health and wellbeing of the people of Westbury and are determined to place this plant on the edge of Westbury.”

John Bowley also wrote,  “Through the White Horse News, I urge West Wilts residents to formally object.    Unless there is a large public outcry, I anticipate that this proposal will be approved.”

Mike Hill, chief executive of The Hills Group said, “The advanced thermal treatment facility that we are proposing can become a critical element of Wiltshire’s waste management infrastructure. It’s crazy that, rather than being utilised locally, non-recyclable waste is being driven long distances across the country or even to Europe. This approach costs significant amounts of money, is bad for the environment, and allows other people to benefit economically rather than us here in Wiltshire. 

“We are proposing an advanced, sustainable facility, which turns non-recyclable waste into valuable energy, providing a solution to waste challenges and economic benefits for people and businesses here.

“We are aware that some people have reservations about our proposals. But as a company which was founded in Wiltshire over 118 years ago, and employs over 650 people, we are committed to doing the right thing for our communities and people across the county. These proposals represent a significant improvement on the project that has already received planning consent and we have listened to the views of the Strategic Planning Committee councillors, making our final proposals even better, with reduced visual impact. This is an opportunity to deliver the best possible waste infrastructure for Wiltshire, which I hope we are able to take.”

If approved, the company claims that the proposed advanced thermal treatment plant will be developed using state-of-the art gasification technology which, rather than burning waste in an incinerator, treats the material at high temperatures and combusts the resulting gas.

They also say that emissions from the facility will be carefully monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in order to comply with strict Environment Agency regulations. The height of the stack has also been increased in order to further reduce any possible local impacts from emissions.

The resubmission will be discussed at the next meeting of Westbury Town Council’s highways, planning and development committee at the Laverton on Monday 5th November where a public forum will be available for residents to share their opinion

To view the new application, use the planning number 18/09473/WCM on the Wiltshire Council planning portal. People have until Friday 16th November to either comment online or write to  Andrew Guest, Development Services, Wiltshire Council, BA14 8JN

One Response to Opposition to new waste plant proposals

  1. Patrick Ranger

    October 26, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I support your objectives to stop this plant being built. This private company will become a law unto them selves to make money. They claim the monitoring of emissions will be done 24/7/52. This will be done by this company them selves.
    I’m assuming the worst that this will go ahead and get planning.
    I would like to get operational conditions in place. Firstly an operation limit on hours to save Westbury having heavy vehicles day and night. If this had been in Melksham. Warminster. Chippenham it would not inpack on the high street as it will do in Westbury as the all have bypasses.
    The monitoring of emissions should be also a condition that the public are able to log into the company site and see the monitoring in real time. Easy done with current technology.
    I feel once these conditions have been requested by us the public it will make it difficult for the planning committee to ignore. Or have they another agenda.

    West wishes. PJ Ranger