Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Secret Incinerator

A number of things have happened since the recent CHAIN Update and the passing of the closing date for objections to the planning application that we want you to know about.

Application ‘Called In’

Following a request from Councillor Mark Stocks (Shakerley), CWAC Council determined that the application from Organic Waste Management Limited (OWM) will go to a planning committee made up of elected councillors, rather than a council officer, for decision.

This is positive news but it is nowhere near good enough because, as we explained in our previous Update and as argued by many who have submitted written objections (see below), the fair and the correct course of action under planning law is for the Council to request OWM to submit a new application. Further, it should do this immediately to relieve the stress that has been expressed by many residents.

Objections, objections.

Many thanks to all those who submitted written objections despite the designed in difficulties of using the CWAC website. They are very impressive in terms of the quantity and the quality of the contents.

Most of the contributions contained several separate arguments against the application and demand that the Council insists on a totally new planning application.

Objections came from CHAIN, Lostock Gralam and Pickmere parish councils and individual members of the public.

Esther McVey, MP for Tatton, also submitted a written objection. Ms McVey’s constituency includes Lostock, Rudheath and Wincham.

It is worth pointing out that CHAIN has no political affiliations and we did circulate our recent Update to the three MPs representing constituencies in the area.

In the circumstances, we thought you would be interested to read what Ms McVey said in her objection which is as follows:-

?I am writing in support of a number of constituents in relation to this application. Whilst on the face of it, this is a relatively minor change of condition- albeit one that increases the visual impact of the site for those in the locality, this application is part of a more fundamental change in how this waste processing site will operate. There is clearly a change in the technology being employed on the site but I could see no evidence of data being supplied to support that change and the purported environmental benefit. Such a fundamental change should not be dealt with as a removal of a condition on a previous application but is clearly major enough to warrant a fresh planning application for the site as a whole. Secondly, it is clear that there has been inadequate consultation with surrounding parishes, despite them being impacted by the change both visually and potentially in relation to the output from the site. Members of the public are similarly in the dark and, given the nature of waste disposal sites and the public interest they attract, that is not acceptable. A fresh application for the site in its new format, with the new technology intended, would allow for full consultation to take place and remove any doubt about correct process being followed.?

What happens next?

The ball is now in CWAC Council’s court. The responsible and legally correct course of action is to insist that the developers put forward a whole new planning application if they want approval of their magically growing chimney.

Any new application must include a full description of the technology they intend to use, the source and type of waste that they will process and details of the precise content and dispersion of emissions, including risks to health, which will emerge from the plant over the surrounding area. That information must be disclosed the public and a proper consultation process undertaken before any decision is made.

That is what the community has a right to expect and it is the duty of CWAC Council to enforce that right.

CHAIN and others will be monitoring what action the Council now proceeds to take and, as usual, we will keep you informed.

Thanks again to our supporters for their continuing encouragement and assistance