Wiltshire Publications

Wiltshire Council says ‘No’ to Westbury incinerator

Story posted on

WILTSHIRE Council has voted against plans to bring a controversial and hugely opposed energy-from-waste incinerator to Westbury.

Incinerator protestors outside County Hall before the SPC meeting.

Local councillors have called it ‘brilliant’ and said they got the result they wanted for Westbury. A case will now be prepared to oppose the scheme at a planning inquiry in November, when the final decision will be made. Members of the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) of Wiltshire Council heard from speakers condemning the incinerator at their meeting on Wednesday 27th July and voted eight to one against the plans following a long debate.

It was a U-turn for Wiltshire Council, who had given approval for the plans in June 2021. Following a public outcry and strong condemnation, the Secretary of State was asked to “call in” the plans for further scrutiny. However, the Secretary of State said that ‘decisions should be made locally’ and the plans were again brought back to Wiltshire Council to decide in April. At that meeting, Wiltshire Council’s SPC agreed to defer the decision until this month whilst they awaited the Government’s papers on environmental targets – which includes a consultation on residual waste targets for 2042.

In a further twist, despite Wiltshire Council’s opposition to the plans, the final decision over whether the waste incinerator can be built in Westbury now lies with a government-appointed planning inspector. The decision will be made by the inspector after Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd (NREL), the company behind the plans, made an appeal, saying that Wiltshire Council had taken too long to make a decision. The planning inspector is expected to make the final decision in November.

The councillors who represent Westbury on Wiltshire Council spoke about their opposition to the plans, as did Westbury Town Council, Arla, the local anti-incinerator group WGAG, Wiltshire Climate Alliance, and the local MP Andrew Murrison.

NREL still have planning permission for an energy-from-waste gasification plant and earlier this year, they began building groundworks at the site. The current application, which is now being considered, is a change of technology to moving grate incineration.

Cllr Howard Greenman, chair of the strategic planning committee said, “The Strategic Planning Committee is part of the statutory planning process and comprises cross-party members from around the county.

“The committee has now considered the application three times and has made a democratic decision based on the evidence presented before it and the expert advice of officers.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *