BCAG Object to the BREP Variation Application
BCAG OBJECTION to 86514/VAR/15, Variation to Barton Renewable Energy Plant
Trafford Council unanimously rejected plans to build the Barton Renewable Energy Plant and should also reject this planning variation.
We OBJECT to the Variation on the following grounds:
PROXIMITY TO NEIGHBOURS
The people living along the Broadway area (Davyhulme), the “Wimpey estate” and the proposed Trafford Waters development, and people working in and using nearby sports facilities and hotels will be in the immediate fall-out zone for air pollution, noise and vibration from BREP. They will also be adversely affected by additional road traffic congestion and exhaust fumes.
NEGATIVE HEALTH IMPACTS
The burning of wood (especially waste wood) and other waste including plastics, produces emissions of Particulate Matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) dioxins, heavy metals (including arsenic), nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide. These emissions will not be adequately captured in BREP’s out-dated, bag-filtration system and the low chimney stack will not disperse the emissions adequately. Medical research shows that this will lead to ill-health impacts including asthma, COPD, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and autism This will affect children, elderly people, people with pre-existing ill-health conditions and people who are exercising. Wood and waste is NOT safe to incinerate.
AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT AREA
The BREP proposal is sited next to an Air Quality Management Area, which extends around the major roads in the area WHERE PEOPLE LIVE. BREP emissions will add to the already high level of pollution caused by traffic. BCAG has monitored nitrogen dioxide over the last 2 YEARS. The monthly results clearly show that NO2 levels have exceeded the European safety standard of 40 ug/m2 consistently on many occasions.
The proposed Just-in-Time fuel supply system could lead to an imbalance between wood and plastic waste fuel mix, resulting in uneven calorific value of the fuel mix with consequent higher or lower temperature. This would have an effect on the emissions. It will be more difficult to regulate the calorific fuel mix and there would be pressure on BREP staff to proceed even if there was not enough fuel to create the correct calorific value of the fuel.
Where will the off-site storage be? Will this be in Urmston/Davyhulme close to housing? These sites generate wood dust, a grade 1 carcinogen and such sites have caused health problems with other communities (e.g. Mossley in Tameside). There have been problems with HGVs and heavy plant causing noise and exhaust fumes.
Bottom ash is very toxic and should be disposed of safely. How is this to be achieved? Will it be trucked through the district to a waste disposal site in the district?
AIR COOLED CONDENSER
If this equipment is operating 24/7 it will create an unacceptable level of noise at night, disturbing sleep of nearby residents.
There is no evidence of demand for the supply of heat. Therefore the whole project is unviable. If the applicant is suggesting that they will create the demand at some later date, this is NOT acceptable for a planning application. In any case, the possible future demand needs will be local and therefore prone to emissions from the plant. It will also cause future traffic congestion.
DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
The BREP variation would still have a detrimental impact upon the vitality and attractiveness of, and the self-confidence of communities within the nearby established areas of Davyhulme, Urmston and Flixton and would thereby prejudice regeneration and improvement of these areas, which have been identified by the Council as being in need of investment. This would be contrary to Policy WD5 of the Trafford UDP.
FALSE CLAIM ABOUT BOILER EFFICIENCY
The efficiency of the proposed boiler (furnace) as claimed by Peel is false. The claim is based on a graph, where the “line of best fit” does NOT fit the data set. The line of best fit is advantageous to Peel Energy’s position. In addition, the line of best fit was projected further to a place where there was no data set. The efficiency was quoted from this projected position. This results in an extremely doubtful output of nitrogen dioxide production. Therefore it is likely that the proposed boiler (furnace) will NOT conform to the Environment Agency specification.
PROTECTING PLANET EARTH
Proponents of burning biomass have made false claims about the amount of carbon dioxide produced from burning biomass. They claim that it is more environmentally friendly (re carbon dioxide) compared to burning coal. Experts in USA and other researchers have found that for the equivalent amount of energy produced, wood produces 50% MORE carbon dioxide than coal.
As BREP will inevitably burn biomass produced from trees it has been claimed that if you grow as many trees as you burn it will be carbon neutral. However, as it takes 20 years to grow a tree and 20 minutes to burn a tree, then there is a massive catch-up that has not been accepted by biomass supporters. The Earth does not have time to wait for that catch-up. Therefore burning biomass is NOT carbon neutral and BREP will NOT be producing low carbon electricity.
BREP NOT USING BEST AVAILABLE TECHNIQUES (BAT)
BREP proposes to use an open grate furnace, an out-dated bag-filtration system and a 44 metre high chimney stack. It should employ a plasma arc gasification furnace, a scrubber filtration and/or electrostatic precipitators and a stack height of at least 80 metres. Public Health England stipulates that BREP should take all appropriate measures to prevent or control pollution in accordance with the relevant sector technical guidance or industry best practice. This clearly is not proposed by BREP.
SIZE OF THE BUILDING
Although there has been a reduction in the size of the building it is still too high for a residential area. BREP will be clearly seen from Davyhulme Circle, way above the tree line. It will add to the depression felt in the area.
Recent rain this winter produced flooding alongside the Manchester Ship Canal in Flixton. In view of the BREP site being “upstream” of Barton Locks and in view of Global Warming it is conceivable that the BREP site will also be prone to flooding in the foreseeable future.
It is foreseeable that the northwest will run out of waste wood and BREP will have to import wood pellets from overseas. This will be contrary to Peel’s declaration that the fuel will be sourced from the northwest region. Shipping wood pellets across the Atlantic Ocean (possibly from endangered rain forests) could be an ecological disaster if a ship was to sink, allowing thousands of tons of wood pellets to float to the surface, to be ingested by marine and bird species. Also will the wood producing nations stop exporting their trees?
FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS AND PLANNING APPLICATIONS
On the adjoining site, United Utilities have planning applications for over 50 buildings and a scheme to export biomethane to the national grid, as well as its newly developed methane extraction process with 5 biogas engines.
Coal Bed Methane Fracking has received planning permission.
Port Salford is being developed with HGVs, container moving equipment, trains and ships/barges burning diesel or heavy oil and creating more nitrogen dioxide and other pollution.
Not far away in Carrington there are plans for 3 gas-fired power stations.
The former Shell Chemicals site will no doubt have some industrial processes.
THE BREP VARIATION SHOULD BE REJECTED.