Lies, Damn Lies and Planning Applications

Here’s another example where one thing is said at planning applications and something different happens in the real world that the rest of us inhabit.

Our friends at HAGATI in Runcorn fought long and hard to try and prevent the building of the Viridor EfW plant at Weston Point in Runcorn, but as it approaches the point of ‘go live’ the owners did what we forecast all along, yet what was dismissed as ‘speculation’ at the planning stage.

The original planning application was clear; deliveries of waste to the plant were to be limited to just 85,000 tonnes a year, some 10% of the total 850,000 tonnes this plant is set to burn every year. The biggest incinerator in Europe was built on a lie that they would bring in the majority of waste by rail. This article on Air Quality News gives the detail we all knew was coming; the original ruling has now been overturned to allow HGV’s to deliver almost 500,000 tonnes a year into the plant.

Sustainable transport? No. Local waste burned in a local facility? No. This monster is set to burn waste from across the UK and Europe and the bulk of it will be coming down a road near you.

This tactic is not unexpected and often used by operators. Get the planning permission, build the plant and then complain that this ‘restriction’ is holding them back and get it overturned on appeal.

On a completely separate and clearly unrelated note the team trying to build an incinerator in Northwich are STILLinsisting that they will be able to bring in the majority of waste by rail. This despite the fact that they don’t have a single waste contract to burn at the plant yet, nor that their counterparts just up the road in Runcorn are unable to bring in the majority of their waste by rail.

Can this be true? Can they really succeed where their counterparts have failed so publicly and miserably? We’ll let you make up your own minds.