THIRTY people and organisations will take a stand against Gloucestershire’s incinerator plans at a planning inquiry today.
The inquiry into the decision to refuse planning permission for waste firm Urbaser Balfor Beatty’s £500million burner will take a twist when it is opened up to the public to speak for the first time since it began in December.
So far, to date, only Urbaser Balfour Beatty and their principle opponents – Gloucestershire County Council, Stroud District Council, campaign group GlosVAIN and Friends of the Earth – have taken the stand.
Inspector Brian Cook will listen to evidence and statements at the inquiry which is being held at the Hallmark Hotel, in Matson.
One of the speakers, Rachel Stafford, a councillor on Standish Parish Council, said: “The majority of persons live in Standish because they want to live in a rural area.
“The incinerator would be much, much larger than the Dairy Crest building which is already an eyesore from many houses and places in Standish.
“The incinerator would be the first thing we would see leaving home every morning and the last thing we’d see coming home every day. Many of our residents would have it as a permanent view from their house or garden.
“The plume would be a constant worry that the air is being polluted and that their health will suffer.”
Resident Jan Bayley said: “I know the area well, having lived in Gloucestershire since 1978, and am well acquainted with the outstanding views both from and to the Cotswold escarpment.
“From the raised escarpment, the juxtaposition of the rising hills both sides of the Severn and the broad, flat, Severn Vale comprises some exceptional scenery.
“Looking at the appeal site, a building of 15.7 metres tall would appear highly conspicuous in this area.
“There is no doubt that the magnitude of change to the landscape, if the appeal proceeds, will be phenomenal.”
Chartered engineer Stephen Goodchild, who will argue that the plant fails to make use of the heat it would generate, said that ‘the prospect of any meaningful application of the heat does not exist’.
Many submissions have called for different technology to be used for the waste treatment facility, but the remit of the planning inquiry does not extend to that.