Yes, you've heard about these plans before, and yes, you objected so much they were thrown out by the Council.
But WRG have ignored this democratic decision and re-submmitted their plans to expand Nottingham's dirty Eastcroft Incinerator. Time for us to shout even louder...
Not just for residents of Nottingham or even the Midlands - this is a UK issue! WRG are making a mockery of democracy. If you have any doubts at all about incineration then read on: this is one 'waste of energy' facility you don't want to see more of.
Spanish-owned private company WRG's latest attempt to push through their Eastcroft incinerator expansion plan is full of mis-information and a blatent disregard for the public voice. Waste from all over the country could be burned in this small city - stifling recycling efforts and any kind of more progressive waste strategy for the UK.
The 2005 application to bring in waste form outside the County to fill an unjustified and unwanted third incinerator line in Nottingham was unanimously rejected in 2006 - by the Planning Office, the Control Committee and the public.
That didn't stop WRG. Their drive for profit over public health is clearly all-consuming to the point where they are resorting to deception. Now, senior WRG workers are telling the public that "aesthetics was the sole reason" why their last application was rejected.
For the record, the Council received "an unprecedented amount of opposition" from the public against an expansion, AND the plans contravened 8 local and national policies (*). There was a 3,500 signed petition, plus demonstrations in the City, community and business consultation events and radio and TV coverage speaking out against the application.
WRG’s cheap assertion that the aesthetics of Eastcroft were the only reason to reject the last application (even the Council isn’t that superficial) smacks of (at best) deliberate misinformation and (at worse) blatant lies told by private business to a concerned and vulnerable public.
Bland statements at their tiny, under-publicised 'consultation event' of there being "plenty of rubbish" around to fill 3 incinerator lines for more thean 50 more years is also misleading.
WRG have confirmed that there isn't enough rubbish in its home town to justify another incinerator line. So they intend to import non-hazardous domestic and industrial waste from up to 35 miles away - i.e Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire... and waste could even come from further afield. They will also use waste transfer stations across the County (luckily for WRG, they also own most of these), which collect waste from all over the UK. By taking waste from transfer stations WRG can't be sure of the provenance and will undoubtedly contravene the government’s proximity principle. And WRG have still not demonstrated any requests by or any need for other authorities or waste producers to export their waste to Nottingham City for incineration.
WRG really appear to be stupid enough to re-submit the same application but with a prettier colour slapped onto the corroding chimney stack and think that the Council – and its taxpayers - will be fooled. It's almost an insult. Technically, the plans are the same as before. The essential difference though in the ‘new’ plan is that it's all about looks, not safety, pollution or health - WRG intend to clad the building, paint the chimney and clean it, which they say will “transform it into a striking, modern building that is worthy of Nottingham”.
So they agree that Eastcroft is ugly, unfashionable, out-dated and that Nottingham doesn’t deserve it. Fair enough.
However, if anyone was actually looking forward to a more attractive incinerator, remember that this comes at a price - 100,000 MORE tonnes of waste burned (and none of it even sorted or recycled first); 106 EXTRA lorries a day; 5 times LESS JOBS than a recycling plant could bring.
Remember also Eastcroft's already terrible reputation as the UK's worst performing incinerator. The existing incinerator has been consistently unreliable, with over 30 pollution breaches in the past 5 years. And in this self-regulated industry, those are the one's we know about. A scary third of all warning letters issued by the incinerator regulator, have been given to WRG for Eastcroft’s poor performance. Who knows what will happen if they expand! 100,000 tonnes more rubbish burned means 100,000 tonnes more poisons emitted including cadmuim; arsenic and dioxins, and 100,000 tonnes more waste that could have been recycled if we'd all been given the chance.
Something else to know - when asked, WRG have said that if their application to expand is rejected again they will not improve the site anyway, because “it would not be financially viable”. The proposed design is based on the original plant designed in the 1960’s. WRG could choose to build a more modern facility with lower emissions, however they have admitted that cost savings have determined their use of this old design. The decision to put costs before the health of local residents further erodes the public’s confidence in WRG.
Does anyone else wonder, if – at just 35 – Eastcroft is beginning to look its age on the outside, how old; withered and weak is it on the inside? A new line won't bring Eastcroft in line with new technology, and 100,000 more tonnes of poisons and toxins will belch out of the same corroding chimney stack.
So, sorry guys - you need to object (again) today!
Visit www.nail.uk.net to find out more information about Eastcroft and the campaign and to see the details of the decision-makers to contact. Friends of the Earth have some details at www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/waste/issues/incineration_and_landfill/index.html
in case you'd like to know more from other sources. In the meantime you can also email the planning office - firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAIL are spreading the word across the City (again), gathering your views and updating people (again), as well as lobbying councillors (again). There's about 8 of us in the group; any help - especially time - is invaluable.
Please tell others. YOUR SUPPORT IS VITAL - objections need to be as much as or more so than last time. We would hate to see all this hard work and the overwhelming public opinion against expansion that was generated by the last plans, be lost and go to waste by allowing WRG to pull a fast one like this.
There are over 27 other campaign groups fighting incinerator plans across the UK. They can't all be wrong...
(*)This is what the Council in fact stated:
Recommendation: Refuse Planning Permission for the following reason:
The proposed development would unacceptably constrain the sustainable regeneration of the city by inhibiting the development of mixed communities in the Southside, Eastside and Waterside Regeneration zones
be contrary to policies *MU2, MU3, MU4, MU5, MU6 and MU7 of the Nottingham Local Plan and paragraph 27 of *Planning Policy Statement 1;
would not satisfy key criteria concerning the suitability of the site for development contained in paragraph 21(i) of Planning Policy Statement 10 relating to
- the physical and environmental constraints on development, including neighbouring land uses, and
- the cumulative effect of previous waste disposal facilities on the well-being of the local community in terms of social cohesion and inclusion and economic potential.
*More details on www.nail.uk.net