Sunday, February 26, 2006

Burning waste made easy by WCC

Warwickshire County Council agree to Incinerate more waste in Rugby town centre.

County Councillors once again spurned Rugby residents, and lawyer's requests, to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment before permitting this change of use, and intensification of use, at the Rugby Cement site. They continue along the same lines as they always have, putting industry's profits before OUR health, in yet ANOTHER case of the blind leading the blind at Warwick. They ignored pleas from local residents, including one from Mrs Judge of Lawford who apparently has cement dust inbedded in her lungs from years of living close to the plant.

On 22nd December 2005 (specially stuck in just before Christmas so that the opposition would be either busy or on holiday) the Regulatory Committee met at Warwick and refused to Defer the planning application for a FULL and FAIR consideration of all the impacts, into the proposal to fit "bag filters", to allow waste disposal at Rugby plant. They do not, (apparently) realise, that the "WID" referred to throughout means the Waste Incinerator Directive. Why should that European Directive for the incineration of waste apply to the Rugby Cement plant? Because WCC have permitted it to become a waste co-incinerator - with the "expert" help of the Environment Agency and RBC.

The Councillors acted "according to officers' recommendations", presumably impressed by the presence of no less than five "experts" from Cemex, to jolly them along, and to ensure that this got through! They claim to have taken into consideration the Environmental Statement and other environmental information that accompanied the bag-filter application, and not one councillor questioned the "validity", or "completeness", of the information provided by the applicant.

This Statement of "justification" for their action/inaction has now appeared on the WCC web site:

Description of the Main Measures to Avoid, Reduce and Offset Major Adverse Effects:

* There are no major adverse effects

Main Reasons and Considerations on Which the Decision is Based:

The main considerations on which the decision was based were the Policies of the Warwickshire Structure Plan 1996-2011 and the Rugby Borough Local Plan and all other material consideration set out in the Report.

The Committee agreed with the reasons for granting permission given in the Report and relied in particular on the following main reasons:

(i) The bag filter would significantly reduce particulate emissions in up to 60% of the gases discharged from the main stack.

(ii) The scale of the proposed building and its colouring would result in the bag filter having no greater visual impact than existing buildings.

(iii) Noise mitigation measures enforced through conditions will contain noise from construction and make it unlikely that noise during operation will have any greater impact on neighbours than existing operations.

(iv) The bag filter would increase the use of electricity over current levels but there are no other likely significant adverse physical effects.

(v) The proposed development is in general accordance with the development plan there are no other planning considerations of sufficient weight to require that permission be refused.

The names of the Councillors on this Committee:

Richard Chattaway; Dave Shilton; Peter Barnes: Les Caborn: Michael Doody; Pat Henry: Joan Lea; Brian Moss; Mike Perry; Ian Smith; Ray Sweet: and Rugby's very own home-grown JOHN WELLS - who was one of the original councillors involved in the granting of the planning permission for the New Rugby Works!

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