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Lib Dem councillor 'can't find reason' to build Gloucestershire incinerator

By jrmaidment  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

Artist's impression of the new incinerator

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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.”

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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.”

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  • doccocomposer  |  November 27 2012, 11:21PM

    Regardless of what the planning committee decide, it will go to appeal, Someone will offer Eric Pickles a super quadruple cheese and bacon burger with an extra large side of lard fried chips and he'll over rule everyone as he's done before. We are not living in a democracy.

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  • Hubert1841  |  November 27 2012, 8:35PM

    "Lib Dem councillor 'can't find reason' to build Gloucestershire incinerator". I can. Put all the politicians in it, and do us all a favour.

  • CheltRes2  |  November 27 2012, 8:10PM

    I havent really looked into it at all but the first thing that springs to mind is whether they can guarantee that they will not be burning anything that may be carcinogenic? From a medical point of view if I lived close by that is what I would want to know rather than whether the traffic will be worse or it is an eyesore. Secondly, I often have too much rubbish for the amount we are allowed per week. The council stuck a note on my bin saying I could call them for help on reducing the amount of rubbish we produce. Well I know how we could reduce the amount of rubbish we produce, they could use less packaging on the things that we buy, sadly I cant make the household eat less so we dont create so much rubbish? Instead of trying to deal with the rubbish why not have rules so that less packaging must be used. I am not at all educated on this matter so feel free to set me straight!

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  • steveshedhead  |  November 27 2012, 7:37PM

    well done cllr wheeler, the key point is that this monstrosoty is being built on land owned by the county, who have also let the contract in advance of plaaning permission being granted ( it doesnt matter becuase guess who has to consider the planning permission, yes you've guessed the county council ! To stop this farce please write to Eric Pickles MP at the the house of commons londo w1 and demand he puts a stop to this joke. If surcharging for naff decisons was still availble I wonder if Stan Waddington and his colleagues would be so keen on this joke.

  • Future2010  |  November 27 2012, 2:08PM

    A good point! Unfortunately it is not my opinion that will count. But I do believe that providing that planning committee members say that they are keeping an open mind that is OK. Otherwise could anyone be on the planning committee? The Glos. Conservative Party line is clearly supporting a waste incinerator, and all Conservatives in Glos.C.C. clearly follow the party line on key issues, while some other parties have clearly opposed this incinerator in their leaflets.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 27 2012, 1:44PM

    I am planning to set a Group to protest against wood-burners that belch out huge amounts of black smoke, particulates, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and obnoxious combustion products including tars that spread about at ground level and are carcinogenic. Quite apart from banning sale of pellet boilers from Europe, and and wood pellets from Finland, that apart from being a rip off, harm the environment arising from shipping - carbon footprint, and fossil fuels used for cutting and converting the timber into wood pellets. Government must be bonkers giving subsidies to power Cos for converting coal fired power stations to wood pellet firing - given the millions of tonnes needed and imported all the way from the US - how long will it take the tens of thousands of hectares of land to be re-forested annually to keep the monster power stations going? Is that what green energy means - thirty years of green growth going up in smoke over weeks? Now folks - examine your own carbon footprint - what sort of car do you drive, how much oil, gas or wood do you use for heating/cooking, how often do you decorate your house, or how many holidays do you have - by car or air? Work out the carbon footprint of your Christmas, mobile phones? computers, night out? meals out? exotic fruit, and vegetables or meat that takes ten times the land area to grow compared with common food grains? the list is enfless - and then stop shopping or wasting stuff that ends up i your waste bins before splitting hairs to decide whether waste you produce is better incinerated or sent to an MBT plant or to landfill all of which if managed carefully will make little difference to health.

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  • Ysedra  |  November 27 2012, 1:27PM

    'Struggling' doesn't suggest an 'open mind'. That's my opinion, anyway. If I can be rated down for asking a question, I guess I'll get a proper peppering for that... I wonder if you'd have been so willing to accept his 'open mind', Future2010, if he'd said he'd been 'struggling' to find reasons *not* to build the incinerator?

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  • Future2010  |  November 27 2012, 1:13PM

    No he isn't ruling himself out, because he says that he is "keeping an open mind".

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  • Chas_Townley  |  November 27 2012, 1:08PM

    no cllr wheeler can still consider this 1) he says he still has an 'open mind' and 2) the gov't has relaxed the rules a bit on the 'predetermination' minefield.

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  • Ysedra  |  November 27 2012, 1:02PM

    Han't Councillor Wheeler ruled himself out of taking part in the decision by speaking about his views publicly?

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