Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Friday, 12 February 2010

It will soon be time to write to Devon County Council objecting to the proposed Energy from Waste plant (commonly known as an incinerator) at New England Quarry just off the A38. The planning application has been submitted and the council is about to go out to consultation on it.
There are several reasons for opposing this.
First of all, the proposed 300 extra lorry movements a day through the village of Lee Mill is unacceptable to local residents and those of us who represent them. Viridor promised to find a solution to this problem, but have failed to do so.
Second, the incinerator will be a major blot on the landscape and visible from far and wide. The eastern approach to Plymouth which already boasts the Langage Power station would start to resemble the outskirts of Birmingham, not the ancient rolling hills of south Devon.
Third, there is a possible impact on the quality of our air. Living between the moor and the sea, local residents should expect air of the highest quality. Emissions from an incinerator, especially when combined with output from the power station can hardly improve that.
Fourth, there is the likely impact of this proposal on the river Yealm which runs alongside the site, and other environmental considerations.
We have recently formed a cross-party taskforce which I chair, engaging local expertise and parish councils to examine the proposals and seek to make representations. We will be in touch shortly recommending the arguments that might be made to stop this planning application.
Some will argue that we do not need an incinerator anywhere in Devon. I find these arguments increasingly attractive, but am still prepared to give the local councils the benefit of the doubt at this stage. There is probably a limit of about 60% on what we can recycle. In Plymouth we are nowhere near that, although the South Hams at over 50% is more promising. What do we do with the residue of waste now that Chelson Meadow is full and landfill so expensive?
But a rural location is not the place for it. The whole point of EFW is that the heat that is produced from it can be used for other purposes. The heat generated from New England Quarry might be helpful for keeping the badgers warm during the winter, but it is surely too far from civilisation to be of real benefit.
We will be in touch!

posted by Gary @ 09:14