Wiltshire Publications

It’s not too late to influence councillors’ decision, says protest group

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With local Wiltshire councillors making the decision, local protest group WGAG/ NWI say it’s not too late to write to councillors to express your views. 

Last week, Northacre Renewable Energy Limited (NREL) also released a statement regarding the progress of their environmental permit process. See page 2.

The WGAG/NWI group say, “The documents connected to this plan, 20/06775/WCM, ran to thousands of pages. A case officer collates it all into a report for the 11 members with recommendations to ‘approve’ or ‘refuse’. For some councillors, new to this committee and not living near Westbury, the officer’s report will likely be the only information they will have to decide what they will vote. Unless you do something!

“What do they need to know? What can you write to them about?

• 8 Town Councils including Frome Town Council, 9 Parish Councils, Dr A Murrison MP and 2050 members of the public submitted objections.

• Hills Waste/NREL have permission for a gasification incinerator, obtained on appeal after previous refusal. This new application is for a 50% bigger conventional incinerator. It would use old technology with large amounts of residues (some classed as ‘hazardous’ going to special landfills).

• The planning office confirmed that this is a ‘new stand alone’ application. However this did not stop Hills/NREL using terms like ‘amended’ and ‘updated’, nor constantly referring to ‘consented’ throughout the documentation. This misled not only the public, but also some consultees as seen in their reports.

• Only 40 permanent jobs would come from the incinerator being built. 250 jobs would be lost if Arla Foods have to leave because of the effect on its business.

  The health of Westbury residents is the worst in Wiltshire.

• Westbury has been an AQMA (Air Quality Management Area) for nearly 20 years.

• The number of HGVs through the town has increased after Cumberland Bridge in Bath closed. Yet more HGVs are polluting the town since the start of Bath Clean Air Zone.  

• It is unbelievable that bringing in 243,000 tonnes of waste, supplemental oil fuel, ammonia and other materials and then the transport away of up to 30% of residues would have a ‘minimal traffic impact’.

• Compared with the Gloucester incinerator, the number of HGV movements in peak hour could be one per minute! All entering and exiting through a single roundabout on a tiny road from Yarnbrook.

• There are 8 incinerators operating or with permission to build within two hours of Westbury.

• Westbury is set below an escarpment. This causes a temperature inversion and plume grounding making emissions dispersion difficult.

• Why are Hills submitting weather data from an airport many miles away?

• Confidence in Hills Waste’s operation of their MBT plant is not high. There have been Operating Permit breaches (mainly fires). The same company could be in charge of a massive incinerator in close proximity to residential areas, where many more new houses have been built since the last permission was obtained. The nearest residential dwelling is 60 metres from the boundary of the site.

• Wiltshire Council declared a Climate Emergency. This is incompatible with permitting a process emitting 250,000 tonnes of CO2 each year for 25-30 years. Wiltshire Council is on notice from Client Earth for not reducing CO2 fast enough.”

Campaigner Zee Mann said, “My child deserves a healthy childhood. Our children are our future. They will be growing up in a world where nothing is easy  – climate change, pollution – they want to be happy not fighting for their health.”

WGAG/NWI are urging members of the public to write or tweet the members of Wiltshire Council’s Strategic Planning Committee, who will make the decision. The members are:-

• Howard Greenman (Chair) howard.greenman@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Tony Trotman – tony.trotman@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Ernie Clark – ernie.clark@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Sarah Gibson – sarah.gibson@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Carole King – carole.king@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Christopher Newbury – christopher.newbury@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Pip Ridout – pip.ridout@wiltshire.gov.uk

• James Sheppard – james.sheppard@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Elizabeth Threlfall – elizabeth.threlfall@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Robert Yuill- Robert.yuill@wiltshire.gov.uk

The group adds, “for maximum effect:-

• Richard Clewer ( Leader of Wiltshire Council ) – richard.clewer@wiltshire.gov.uk

• Nick Botterill ( Cabinet Member for Planning ) – nick.botterill@wiltshire.gov.uk

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