Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Farewell from CHAIN

It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce, we are closing down the CHAIN organisation and website. 

For over 20 years, CHAIN has been fighting to try and prevent the building of incinerators in Cheshire. Whilst we have had some success, notably with the proposed Middlewich Incinerator, which was stopped in 2012 there are still two incinerators under construction in Cheshire, to add to the three existing plants. 

These five plants, when all fully operational, will provide a combined burning capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per year; almost 19% of the total U.K. incineration capacity. As you can see from the map, this will be one of the biggest concentrations of burning power in any geography in the land. Nowhere is the misery of this level of burning concentrated more fully than in Cheshire. 

During the 20 years CHAIN has existed, and in the years immediately preceding that when residents were active but not fully organised (1999-2002), we have fought to try and keep our towns and villages free of the pollution that comes from burning household waste.

The arguments for and against incineration are now well rehearsed, but for those of you who need a refresher, the page on UKWIN’s website “Why Oppose Incineration” is a good place to start.

We have always maintained that it is a regressive, Victorian solution to a 21st Century problem. In short, if incineration is the answer, then we’re probably asking the wrong question.

During the time we have been campaigning, we raised over 20,000 signatures on a petition that was delivered to Downing Street and held numerous public meetings to try and stop the builds. But the firms behind these have long planning horizons and deep pockets, and despite our best efforts both Ince Marshes and Northwich will be online, burning household waste by the end of 2025.

Northwich Incinerator under construction March 2024 - the twin cranes looming over the properties on Cottage Close, Rudheath
Northwich Incinerator under construction March 2024 – the twin cranes looming over the properties on Cottage Close, Rudheath

As we write this, the cranes building the Northwich Incinerator loom over the town skyline, and at night, the red hazard lights make it appear that a pair of malevolent eyes are staring down at us. All too soon this project will be completed and we will be swamped with lorries delivering waste all day, every day, as well as a pervading smell of burning that will cover the town.

Given that there is nothing we can now do to stop these developments, we have decided to close down this group and direct everyone with an interest to the UK Without Incinerators website.

We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over so many years for all your time, dedication, and hard work. If you have any reports about the development or ongoing operation of these plants, please email them to the team at UKWIN at who will be happy to receive them.