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Local Lib Dems reject the plan for the Westbury Incinerator

September 23, 2020 5:12 PM
By Ellen Nicholson
Alongside the food giant having questions about the planned incinerator waste treatment plant in Westbury, hundreds (if not thousands) of residents have submitted objections to Wiltshire Council, alongside both Trowbridge and Frome Town Councils.
SW Wilts Liberal Democrats spokesperson Ellen Nicholson summariesed the following points in the objection Planning Number: 20/06775/WCM to Wiltshire Council .
As the spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in South West Wiltshire, I have spoken with many residents of Westbury and surrounding areas who will be impacted by this planning application alteration.
The objection is based on the following reasons:
1. Traffic Management, the estimated traffic disruption caused by the planning application is considered to be underestimated. Westbury does not have a by-pass and the increased traffic from the haulage lorries along the A350 would cause considerable congestion to the town centre, through traffic and local residents. This is a small market town not an industrial site. This proposal will push the town's infrastructure to breaking point.
2. The operating times take little account of the close proximity of the town, or current and proposed residential developments. Continuous lorries between 7am -10pm on working days and on a Saturday from 7am - 5pm is completely unacceptable levels of vehicle activity, noise pollution and emissions when considering the sites close proximity to residential houses and the town.
3. When considering emissions, Wiltshire Friends of the Earth rightly concerned about emissions are pushing Wiltshire Council to separate all plastics from household waste and send this to Recycling Technologies in Swindon. Recycling Technologies (RT) use an innovative technique (PAXX) to recycle all plastic products by converting it to an oil including those plastics previously considered to be unrecyclable, of any colour. More than half of residual waste can be recycled not burnt - even more with further investment. We should be aspiring to recycle as much as possible, burning waste is a practice that belongs firmly in the past. Scandinavian countries recycle up to 90% of their waste, this is far more progressive, clean and ambitious than simply burning it. Any energy generated is not for the benefit of local residents or local housing.
4. The Design and visual impact. The incinerator is bigger in size than Arla. The proposed stack is 20m higher than Wells Cathedral and will visually impact on the landscape and overall character of the historical town. The suggestion from Hills that this is acceptable in their recent presentation as I is situated in an industrial area is not a reason to cause blight to the landscape.
5. Westbury is one of 8 Council designated 'Air Quality Management Areas for nitrogen dioxide. Wiltshire Council have a duty of care to protect its residents from adverse effects of air pollution, in particular, particulate matter of PM10 and less. Little is known yet about the adverse effects of minute particulate matter but considering the government announced record investment in ensuring the UK is reducing carbon emissions and pollution by 2050, this is a step in the wrong direction.
6. An 'environmental justice' issue may often apply, populations most vulnerable find themselves with an incinerator located in their area. This may correlate that Westbury is highest in the county for cancer and second for cardiovascular disease regarding mortality in those aged under 75 years.
7. Whilst Hills have stated a benefit to the local economy, this is likely to be overstated and the proposed site will be a low density employer - few people employed per hectare, with fewer. Fewer people employed than in the local supermarkets of Lidl and Aldi.
8. Energy generated is not for local housing: no benefit to council tax payers. Why should we suffer the irreparable consequences to the community with no benefits.