BCAG MEET WITH TRAFFORD COUNCIL LEADER OVER “ON HOLD” NEWS
To be read in conjunction with Press Release dated 22nd February 2015 entitled: BCAG MISLED BY INCINERATOR “ON HOLD” NEWS.
This afternoon the Breathe Clean Air Group (BCAG) attended a meeting with Trafford Council Leader Sean Anstee and Cllr Lisa Cooke to try and clarify recent announcements concerning the Davyhulme Incinerator.
On the afternoon of 11th February, Cllr Cooke convened a special meeting with Pete Kilvert (BCAG Chairman), and Jo Burgess (BCAG founder), to say that as a result of a number of conversations involving Council Leader Sean Anstee, with senior members of Peel, a hugely significant breakthrough had been achieved and that Cllr Cooke’s sincerely held belief was that as a direct consequence of this significant breakthrough, that the Incinerator project was on hold and there was now a very strong likelihood that the incinerator would not be built at all.
The considerable and pre-prepared publicity campaign that was launched by Trafford Conservatives that very afternoon, which BCAG had no prior knowledge of and which came as a complete shock and surprise, served to strongly reinforce the message that something hugely significant had occurred, although on that day the full details were not as yet in view.
Today (3rd March 2015) it was confirmed to BCAG that the facts and evidence to support the belief that something hugely significant has occurred amounted to the following:
- the joint statement agreed between Peel and Trafford’s Conservative Group (not Trafford Council);
- the fact that Peel has not as yet discharged its planning conditions, neither has it submitted any details necessary for that assessment process, required before construction can commence;
- an expectation that Peel may require additional planning permission to implement the heat component of the ‘combined heat and power’ plant, although no grounds for objection by the planning committee can be identified in advance of knowing the details of a specific application.
It was also confirmed to BCAG today that there has not been any official change to the substance of the Council’s existing planning process information and associated deadlines.
It has been BCAG’s understanding all along that the current plant designs and planning permission include the provision of heat as well as electricity – something that was also covered as part of the argumentation in the High Court.
Furthermore, it was confirmed to BCAG today that there have been no discussions to date between Council Leader Sean Anstee and Peel about upgrading the plant designs to ‘Best Available Technology’, to address the serious public health concerns of the current low temperature and short chimney plant designs.
It is BCAG’s understanding that the official public position of Peel remains that the Davyhulme Incinerator will be built, within the existing planning requirements and deadlines, and without upgrading the plant to ‘Best Available Technology’.
Therefore it remains the case today that BCAG believes it has been misled, causing significant upset amongst campaigners and members of the public, and that there are insufficient, if any, real facts or evidence to credibly support the belief that something hugely significant has occurred, of benefit to the public.
BCAG today requested from Council Leader Sean Anstee a statement that sets out the official and independent public position of Trafford Council (separate from the agreed statement of Peel and Trafford Conservatives), to explain to the public the specifics of what, if any, impact the recent announcement has on the plant being built within the existing planning requirements and deadlines.
Following the meeting, BCAG Chairman Pete Kilvert said, “Fundamentally, I am deeply disappointed to discover that the incinerator is not really on hold and it’s actually business as usual for Peel. Also, as this is a Council matter, not solely a Conservative Party matter, we believe it is important that the Council now make an independent position statement. We believe we and the public have been misled by the impression created by recent statements that have been made, and we want that rectified as soon as possible”.
BCAG and the Council Leader Sean Anstee have agreed to hold further follow-up talks on the campaign to stop the construction of the Davyhulme Incinerator.