ONE of the councillors due to decide whether or not an incinerator should be built in the county has said he is ‘struggling to find good reasons’ to build the proposed Javelin Park waste disposal facility.
More than 40 people attended a public meeting held by campaign group Glosvain last night to hear why the plans should not go ahead.
Councillor Simon Wheeler (Hesters Way and Up Hatherley, LD) was one of the people in attendance and after a series of presentations he made his thoughts on the issue known during a question and answer session.
He said: “I am really struggling to find good reasons to build this. That is where I come from.”
He added: “I would rather this was not political but what I would ask is that with a county council election coming up, ask the people knocking on your door where they stand on this issue.”
Cllr Wheeler prefaced his comments by stating he is a member of Gloucestershire County Council’s planning committee and he stressed he does have an ‘open mind’ about the plans.
The committee will be voting on whether or not the incinerator should be granted planning permission at a meeting due to be held at Gloucester Rugby Club on January 17.
The Glosvain meeting held at Bethesda Church in Great Norwood Street was the second in a series of four public meetings being held across the county.
Campaigners urged people to write to the county council ahead of the planning decision to voice their concerns about the incinerator.
Sue Oppenheimer from the campaign group told those gathered that she wished the plans ‘would go away’.
She said: “Incineration is the worst possible option to landfill and there are better tried and tested means that are used elsewhere and we think should be used in Gloucestershire.”
“Gloucestershire County Council should do the right thing and change course,” she added.
“They seem hell bent on going for this solution and I think it is a matter of them not wanting to lose face.”
During a series of presentations given by a number of different speakers concerns were raised about the potential impact the incinerator and its accompanying HGVs could have on junction 12 of the M5.
Also, the numbers used by the county council in its waste disposal projections were questioned with Glosvain stating the business case for the incinerator ‘has collapsed’.
During a presentation people were told that the county council will have to pay a £16million ‘penalty clause’ to UBB should the incinerator not be given planning permission.
However, Councillor Stan Waddington (Nailsworth and Minchinhampton, C) confirmed at the cabinet meeting on September 12 that no such ‘penalty clause’ exists.
Javier Peiro of Urbaser, the company behind the incinerator, said “The Javelin Park site is just off Junction 12 of the M5, a junction which currently experiences approximately 26,000 vehicle movements a day. The Javelin Park Transport Assessment indicates that the facility would generate approximately 104 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) movements in each direction per day.
“There will be no new traffic passing through local villages as a result of the facility. Current restrictions on heavy HGV access to local roads will ensure that large waste trucks will not pass through local villages on their route to and from the proposed facility.”