July 2012 – Victory for the people of Middlewich as the Secretary of State turns down the planning appeal and agrees that Middlewich does not need an incinerator.
Supporters all over Cheshire are celebrating the news that the Secretary of State Eric Pickles has turned down the appeal by Covanta over the refusal to grant planning permission for an incinerator on the land off Pochin Way and Cledford Lane.
The news came in a letter dated 20th July 2012 which confirmed that there were no grounds for appeal by Covanta against the original decision and that there was no requirement for an incinerator in the town.
In perhaps the most telling part of the letter, the decision as issued by the Secretary of State says “The Secretary of State also considers that the proposal would conflict with the policy aims of Annex E of PPS10 in terms of visual intrusion, nature conservation, traffic and access, and air emissions (as they apply to traffic); as well as concluding that the economic benefits of the appeal proposals have been overstated.”
This is welcome news for not only residents of Middlewich but also supporters in Northwich who are still fighting to prevent an incinerator in their town. The factors cited by the Secretary of State in his conclusion are factors which both the Middlewich and Northwich proposals have in common and CHAIN will be aiming to ensure that the precedent set by this ruling is carried forward to the Northwich decision, which is also due in the very near future.
Covanta still have the right of further appeal however having been told NO by local residents, the town council, the county council, the Inquiry inspector and now the Secretary of State, to pursue this any further would surely be pointless.
This is very clearly a victory for the people of Middlewich and a triumph of common sense over corporate greed.