6 Responses

  1. madeline says:

    Why has MR Pickles not listened to all the objections against an incinerator being given the go ahead > In a court of law would MR Pickles swear on a bible that he has read and listened to the hundreds of objections . I don’t think so . HE and his family will benefit from the riches of on a plate by the wicked greedy PEEL .

  2. Mr. K. A. Smith says:

    It is clearly a political decision and not an independent one. This is evident from
    Para 2 of the opening letter.
    “2. On 3 July 2012 the appeal was recovered for the Secretary of State’s determination, in pursuance of section 79 of, and paragraph 3 of Schedule 6 to, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as it is considered to be a proposal of major significance for the delivery of the Government’s climate change programme and energy policies.”

    In many instances there are statements that the Secretary of State makes where he considers that the Government’s planning policies offer strong support for an increase in generating capacity from renewable sources.

    It seems that the interests of the Government are being served and not the residents.

    The Inspector seems to be very selective in which opinions he prefers, to enable the BREP plan to be approved. How can it be that of so many objections he does not agree with any? Why is it that a crucial decision has been made by people who do not live in the area?

    In IR640 where localism is dismissed there is a comment
    “ To help increase the use and supply of renewable and low carbon energy, paragraph 96 of the National Planning Policy Framework encourages local planning authorities to recognise the responsibility on all communities to contribute to energy generation from renewable or low carbon sources. ” I would like to know what Eric Pickles and the Inspector are doing to encourage their local authorities to contribute to energy from renewable sources?.

  3. Michael Ryan says:

    Mr Pickles is bound by the same terms that bind the Inspectors at public inquiries for incinerators.

    Inspectors are instructed to ignore any health claims made by objectors to incinerators and to only consider the opinion(s) of the Health Protection Agency (HPA), Environment Agency (EA), and Primary Care Trust (PCT.

    The PCT parrots the opinion of the HPA and writes to the EA to say “no significant harm to human health” (or similar words) and the EA rubber-stamps another incinerator permit.

    Neither the EA nor the PCT seem bothered that the HPA haven’t checked any relevant data around any incinerator – thereby making their opinion unsound. The Inspector at the Shrewsbury incinerator public inquiry and Veolia were fully aware of the above as documents proving the above statements were part of my evidence.

    The Inspector can then assert that there can’t be any valid health concerns as the EA surely wouldn’t have issued a permit if there had been any doubt about health damage.

    Neither the EA, nor HPA, nor even the local PCT bother to attend public inquiries – presumably because they might be asked awkward questions which show the whole process to be a prearranged farce:

    2. On 2 April 2012, the complainant wrote to the Planning Inspectorate and requested information in the following terms:
    “I’ve seen your email to [name redacted] regarding the above incinerator at Shrewsbury and draw your attention to section 100 of the decision document (dated 10 January 2012), which is pasted in below, where the Inspector claimed that the proposed incinerator at Halescott “would have a low risk of harm to human health”.
    ‘100. On the third main issue, I find that the proposed EWF would have a low risk of harm to human health’
    The Inspector’s words suggest that he either had access to data other than that presented or examined at the public inquiry which I was a Rule 6 party objector and at which [name redacted] was my expert witness, or that the inquiry process was a prearranged farce.

    Reference: FER0474711


  4. Mr. K. A. Smith says:

    Interesting comment from the May 13 page of Cheshire Anti Incinerator Network (Chain) http://www.anti-incinerator.org.uk

    Archive for May, 2013
    Incineration in doubt as Covanta UK seeks buyer
    Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
    We are reproducing this story here in full as it originally appeared on the Resource Recycling website. Of particular note is the final analysis on overcapacity which now reaffirms what CHAIN have been saying for a considerable time, that the headlong rush for incineration has been more to do with the economics of the situation and less to do with the need. The proposed Northwich incinerator is not immune to this and TATA/EON will need to secure a reliable source of waste to burn to make the plant effective. We have long asked, and will continue to ask, where is this waste supposed to be coming from?
    The UK arm of energy-from-waste (EfW) firm Covanta Energy, has announced that it must secure a buyer or partner to take over its operations or face making the ‘majority’ of its staff redundant.

    According to the company, the decision was triggered following the company’s unsuccessful attempt to be selected as the preferred bidder for the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority’s (MRWA) 30-year waste contract, reportedly worth £1.18 billion. MRWA announced last month that SITA UK’s waste incinerator was the preferred option.

    The sale offer would encompass assets including the forthcoming EfW facilities at Rookery in Bedfordshire (capable of processing up to 585,000 tonnes per annum (tpa)), Ince in Cheshire (850,000 tpa) and Green Hills near Airdrie Scotland (300,000tpa), as well as a leasehold interest in a site in Middlewich. Covanta has expressed its hopes that these projects will ‘move to the construction phase, with the support of buyers or partners’.

    Other assets include municipal waste procurements in ‘various stages’ and an existing residual waste treatment contract with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

    The company has said that it is currently consulting the 30-strong staff at Halesowen, West Midlands, about the potential take-over and warning them that unless a buyer or partner is found, the ‘majority’ of them could face redundancy.

    The UK’s founding Managing Director, Malcolm Chilton has left the company and has been replaced by the Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Fiona Penhallurick. She is currently looking to appoint a ‘suitably qualified firm’ to handle the search.

    Covanta will continue to operate from its existing offices while a buyer or partner is being sought.


    The news comes amidst growing concern about residual waste treatment overcapacity in the UK, specifically of the mass-burn variety practiced by Covanta. In June, Defra withdrew £217.1 million of PFI funding for three incinerators, including the Merseyside Waste and Recycling Authority’s project, saying: “We now expect to have sufficient infrastructure in England to enable the UK to meet the EU target of reducing waste sent to landfill.”

    Further, a 2012 report by waste management consultancy Eunomia claimed the UK could see ‘overcapacity of 6.9 million tonnes per annum’ by 2015/16, while the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) has warned that some EU states, including the UK, have the capacity to burn ‘more than the non-recyclable waste generated’

  5. Michael Ryan says:

    The appeal process is skewed in favour of those who wish to build incinerators & biomass plants because the Inspectors have clear instructions to ignore health concerns raised by individuals and to only take note of “official” guidance on health effects by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), Environment Agency (EA) and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs).

    None of the above “official” bodies are present to be cross-examined on their opinions at any public inquiry as far as I’m aware and before the Shrewsbury public inquiry in Sept 2011, I wrote to the Planning Inspectorate to inform them that the HPA hadn’t checked any relevant data around any incinerator and also enclosed proof of the HPA’s failure including a letter to me (under FoI) from Justin McCracken of the HPA admitting no studies and also the two newspaper articles which reported the HPA’s appalling admission (Dorking Advertiser & Surrey Mirror – both 22 May 2008).

    I spelt it out to the Planning Inspectorate that they needed to either change their instructions to Inspectors alerting them to the fact that the HPA haven’t checked data and that the EA and PCTs rely upon the HPA’s worthless advice – or that the Inspector requires representatives from HPA, EA and Shropshire County PCT to be present at the inquiry to be cross-examined.

    The Planning Inspectorate brushed me aside with the claim that the Inspector is quite capable of examining evidence – and yet I find that it’s the same old story with every public inquiry where the Inspector is aware of public concerns about health effects, but the HPA, EA & PCTs know best.

  6. Michael Ryan says:

    The following sentence is on the third page of the decision letter.

    “He also agrees with the Inspector that whilst there is a level of fear amongst objectors and this is a material consideration to which some weight can be attached, it is not supported by substantive evidence of actual harm to health arising from the proposal (IR582).”

    What’s lacking is substantive evidence of lack of harm to health resulting from emissions from the biomass plant or from any other biomass plant or incinerator.

    If these operations are so safe – as alleged, then where’s the evidence of “lack of harm”?

    Blaming “deprivation” for infant deaths is popular and yet ONS infant mortality data released in December 2012 for all London Boroughs (1970-2010) shows that 4 Boroughs had similarly falling infant death rates prior to SELCHP incinerator starting in 1993. The same data show that after 1993, the rate in Wandsworth Borough, which is rarely exposed to emissions from SELCHP (being to the west) continued to fall whereas the rates in the three Boroughs most exposed to emissions suddenly rose.



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