Wiltshire Publications

One last fight! Town Council prepares waste plant objection

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WESTBURY Town Council is carrying on its fight against the controversial waste plant on Northacre Industrial Estate.

The plant received planning permission despite strong opposition locally – but still needs an environmental permit from the Environment Agency in order to operate. And the town council say it will lobby to prevent this.

Northacre Renewable Energy gained planning permission from Wiltshire Council to build the Advanced Thermal Treatment plant earlier this year, with building work due to begin later this autumn. 

However, the plant cannot operate without an environmental permit. The Environment Agency say they expect an application from Northacre Renewable Energy in the next few months. 

And Westbury Town Council is preparing a statement of objection to the Environment Agency to oppose the permit. 

At a meeting of Westbury Town Council on Monday 2nd September, mayor cllr Mike Sutton put forward the motion to begin preparation of a submission document so the council has their response ready to send, as soon as the application is made. 

Cllr Mike Sutton said, “There is always a danger  that they could apply for the permit tomorrow, and we will get caught out. My recommendation is to set up a group consisting of councillors, members of the town, the gasification group and all the neighbouring councils that will be affected by this and meet to discuss all the items that should be include in the submission to the Environmental Agency, so the day we get the call, we have got it written and we’ve got it ready. 

“We should involve all the people in the town that want to be involved and want to make their point of view and put their suggestions forward.” 

Margaret Cavanna of the Westbury Gasification Action group spoke to council at the meeting saying, “Sadly we are now in this situation where Wiltshire Council is allowing a climate changing, chemical and particle spewing plant to be built. Even if it can be built providing it meets the conditions that have now been imposed, let’s now make sure it could only be permitted to operate to the most stringent conditions at this location, with people’s young children breathing noxious emissions into their bodies in the streets, gardens and playgrounds. If it can’t meet them, let’s make sure it doesn’t operate at all.

“This is a legacy development that will affect the area for up to 25 years, a whole generation – please do all you can on this.”

Due to the significant public interest associated with this application, the Environment Agency will consult local communities likely to be affected before making the final decision. 

They said, “When we consider a permit application we can take into account people’s comments on:

• General operational management of the site.

• Measures being proposed to control emissions, including gas and particulate emissions, odour, dust, noise and other forms of pollution.

• Monitoring of emissions to the environment to agreed standards (the IED).

• The handling and storage of wastes.

• Potential impacts on public health and the local environment.

• Any relevant factors which the local community believes have not been considered by the operator.

“When we consult, we will contact you directly if we already hold your contact details and you have told us you wish to be included in any consultation. We will also place adverts in the local press and on social media. Details of the application and supporting documents will be available online, and hard copies will be made available through local outlets such as the local library and at the Environment Agency’s office.”