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.


Thursday, 30 June 2011

This is the letter I have written this week to every member of the committee that will shortly be making the planning decision on New England Quarry. I have sought to focus on planning issues which is the basis on which the decision must be made.
Dear Councillor,
I appreciate you have a tough decision to make on the Viridor application for an incinerator and land fill at New England Quarry. Before you do so, may I respectfully underline 3 key points on behalf of people living in the vicinity.
1.    The Devon waste partnership has chosen Devonport as the site for its Energy from Waste facility to tackle municipal waste and I have no doubt this will receive planning permission in the next 12 months. Accordingly, if the NEQ proposal is passed we would have two incinerators within a few miles of each other. Once other micro projects have taken their share of the non-municipal waste available, there is no doubt that Viridor will be bussing waste into NEQ from all over the region and possibly even further afield. I respectfully suggest that this is not an appropriate use of land in the South Hams.
2.    Viridor has not solved the traffic problem through Lee Mill. The additional burden of heavy vehicles full of rubbish passing through the village will make lives intolerable for its residents. In particular, most traffic passing through Lee Mill from the west currently proceeds to Tesco or the Industrial Estate beyond. The Viridor lorries containing waste whether for incineration or landfill will be turning right at the bottom of the hill, completely throwing existing traffic patterns into confusion. I respectfully submit that the highways issues have not been resolved by this application.
3.    No matter how much clever engineering goes into a site, it is impossible to guarantee that unforeseen events will not arise (as in Japan recently). I respectfully submit that NEQ is far too close to the eco-sensitive site of the river Yealm (and Dartmoor) to be considered safe.
If one was to scour Devon looking for a more unsuitable site, it would be hard to find, given the acute environmental sensitivities and significant highways issues. Opposition to this proposal from the local community is absolute. I very much hope these points will assist you in reaching a positive decision for local people.
Yours sincerely
Gary Streeter MP
The decision is due to be made in July. Fingers crossed.

posted by Gary @ 12:49