Frightening Prospect of Harmful Air Pollution
Today’s announcement, that the Barton Renewable Energy Plant is to go ahead, is a devastating blow to the people of Trafford, Salford and Manchester. The historic and unprecedented level of local opposition, including from local residents, doctors, businesses, MPs, Salford Council and all of Trafford’s Councillors, has been swept aside to make way for an outdated, dirty incinerator.
It is ironic that the decision made by our locally elected Councillors, who understand the local issues and represent the local community, has been overturned by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whose remit includes supporting local Councils. The decision ignores all the specific circumstances that make Davyhulme a completely unsuitable place for this plant. Instead the Government’s National Strategy has been prioritised. With its inadequate technology and short chimney stack, this incinerator will burn contaminated wood and plastics, creating air pollution that can lead to serious health impacts and premature death.
In our opinion, the original reasons on which Trafford’s entire Planning Committee unanimously rejected the plant, are still entirely valid: there is a body of credible evidence suggesting that this plant will cause harm and people may therefore leave the area.
The local air pollution is already of grave concern and as such, the Breathe Clean Air Group* has made an official complaint to the European Commission. Adding a huge amount of additional pollution from this incinerator is irresponsible.
There are cleaner alternatives for creating energy from waste, such as plasma gasification, but today’s decision means that local residents will be stuck with a dirty, polluting process for at least 25 years. We believe the careless nature of this decision will be evidenced in years to come as the impact on health becomes reality.
*The Breathe Clean Air Group has been campaigning against the incinerator since it was proposed, three years ago.