Wiltshire Publications

‘Little hope for democracy’ Campaigners question legality of Wiltshire Council decision

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at 10:56 am.

THE legality of Wiltshire Council has been questioned again over new plans for a gasification plant in Westbury, with concerned residents saying the council is failing to ensure the health and safety of people living in the town. 

Questions of whether Wiltshire Council were acting legally were raised earlier this year when the application submitted by Northacre Renewable Energy was refused by Wiltshire Council on the size and bulk of the building, yet concerns of healthcare were ignored. Campaigners now say that the new application, which has altered the size of the plan, will be accepted, yet healthcare concerns will be ignored again.

A concerned resident has now also sought the advice of an ombudsman, claiming the planning department at Wiltshire Council is acting illegally, failing to look at how the plant will affect human health. 

“I have set up a case with an ombudsman to make sure that Wiltshire Council will go to court if the application is accepted.” the resident told White Horse News. “It seems to me that they are hell-bent on pushing this application through, no matter what, and have failed to look at human health. 

“It may be premature to have started a case against Wiltshire Council, but I want them to know we are here and fighting.”

In a letter to White Horse News, another resident, David Davis said,  “It is a cause for concern when those in power fail to carry out their responsibilities to the public when we have a situation as we have in Westbury. Northacre Renewable Energy and Wiltshire Council  want to place this plant on the edge of town against the objections from a large amount of the population, their MP and the town council. 

“There is a democratic process that if the council grants planning permission it is called in by the Secretary of State to decide if the people’s objections have been addressed. I have a letter from the Rt Hon Michael Gove that states the following: ‘The Government is clear that localism and decentralisation are at the heart of its planning agenda, and the general approach of the Secretary of State should not intervene planning matters’.

“So this leaves us with Wiltshire Council doing exactly as they wish  and are able to ignore anything that Westbury has to say. If we look at Wiltshire Council’s record so far, they have ignored the rule of law with regard to the Health and Safety Act.

“They have failed to accept the democratic vote on the 18th of July. They changed the real reason the plant was not granted planning permission from safety of the public to the height of the buildings, which makes no sense because they had just given planning permission twenty minutes before  on the sorting building that is at the same height. 

“You could not make this up! Until those in authority realise they are there to serve the public and not private industry, there is little hope for our so called democratic society.”

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