As many of you will have seen in the Northwich Guardian recently, the current owners of the ‘under development’ Incinerator on the edge of Northwich are not happy with their current profit projections. This unhappiness has now driven them to try and vary the planning permission to allow them to increase the amount of waste they can burn each year from 600,000 tonnes to 728,000 tonnes.
This 20%+ rise in capacity would, say the owners “enable us to make better use of the facility and allow more sustainable energy to be generated to support the local electricity network”.
Not quite as visible is the vast amount of harms this would visit on the local population, including a rise in HGV movements from 262 lorries a day to 464 lorries a day. They suggest that to avoid peak hour traffic they will also need to extend the hours of operation from 7am-7pm to 7am-11pm. In short, they want to increase the misery heaped on local people and for longer.
Enough is enough. This development was fought tooth and nail at a Public Inquiry and only granted planning permission as it met several criteria of the then Governments’ energy policy by being a ‘strategic development’. Since that point, however, things have changed.
First, the residual waste volumes have continued to decrease in Cheshire whilst recycling is still one of the highest in the country. Our reward for this is that they need to import waste from all over the country to burn in our town.
Second, the more recent focus on renewable energy has identified that incineration is NOT renewable and moreover, it contributes to the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Third, pushing 464 diesel lorry movements onto unsuitable local roads every is not only worsening the traffic situation, but also contributing massively to a decrease in the air quality in the area. Add to this the CO2 and particulates emitted and what seemed like a net contributor to the UK’s energy policy on 2012 turns out to be an unmitigated disaster in 2021. If you have any care for the future of this planet, developments like this should be stopped immediately.
You can help to stop this ‘slow motion car crash’ by registering your complaint with BEIS Energy Infrastructure Planning team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org saying you object to the expansion plans.
An enterprising local resident has set up a really useful website called Stop The Burn Northwich and they have provided a simple copy and paste letter for you to email directly to BEIS. The final date for objections is 2nd December 2021 so do it NOW to ensure your voice is heard.