At the Pre-Inquiry Meeting held on Monday (7th June 2010) at the Rainworth Village Hall the Planning Inspector, Mr. Rupert Grantham, granted Veolia a final opportunity to provide additional evidence to the Inquiry into proposals for a Sherwood Forest incinerator.

According to People Against Incineration (PAIN) spokesman Shlomo Dowen:

After having nearly four years to get their act together over the Nightjar and Woodlark issue, including two costly adjournments of the Planning Inquiry, Veolia had the cheek to ask the Inspector that if their evidence still wasn’t good enough Veolia should be given yet another opportunity after the close of the Inquiry. The Inspector refused this request and instead called time on Veolia, reminding them that it was their responsibility to put their best evidence before the Inquiry to allow the Secretary of State to make a decision one way or the other. Veolia accepted this and agreed to carry the risk should their evidence prove inadequate.

Veolia now have until the end of July to circulate a shadow appropriate assessment of the potential impacts of building and operating a waste incinerator on the greenfield site owned by UKCoal. The site, once a car park servicing the former Rufford Colliery in Rainworth, near Mansfield, is currently a nesting site for endangered birds. Surveys carried out this year show four breeding areas for woodlark and nightjar in and around Veolia’s application site, strengthening the case for declaring it part of a Sherwood Forest Special Protection Area (SPA).

Veolia has so far failed to provide evidence that would rule out significant adverse effects on the integrity of the potential SPA. To date Veolia have not been able to agree a methodology or a definitive list of sites to be included in any assessment with either Natural England or the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.

The Inspector has now set a strict deadline for the assessment, warning Veolia that failure to rule out adverse effects could mean that the Secretary of State would refuse planning permission for Veolia’s incinerator proposal for this reason alone. A legal representative speaking on behalf of Veolia said that they are aware of the risk and would not take legal action should their plans be refused due to lack of evidence.

Both Natural England and the Wildlife Trust agreed to continue to assist Veolia by supplying information, and by continuing to seek agreement regarding the scope of the assessment. It remained unclear how Veolia would be able to meet the deadline, and there was disagreement that their report would be sufficient.

The Pre-Inquiry Meeting also confirmed that People Against Incineration (PAIN) will be allowed to submit further evidence arising from the release of previously redacted portions of the £850 million waste contract between Veolia and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Veolia’s report is due to be released by the end of July, with Statements of Common Ground to be agreed by 6th August. Any new Proofs of Evidence will need to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate no later than 10th September, to enable the Inquiry to resume on Tuesday 28th September when Natural England are expected to give their evidence and be cross examined.

This story is being covered by MRW’s excellent reporter Ruth Faulkner, who has written a series of recent articles, including:
Veolia given until end of July to submit further evidence relating to Rainworth EfW plans
West Midlands £1bn incinerator scheme halted
Three planned incinerators called into question
and Calls for Coalition to clarify policy on incineration to list but a few…

2 Responses to “Inspector gives Veolia one last chance”

  1. I am located in an area of Welham Green/ Hatfield Hertfordshire and an application has just been lodged with our local council to install a massive incineration plant on Green belt land in a small village south of Hatfield,Hertfordshire We note you have problems with such a unit and we sympathize. Perhaps we could benefit from your experience as you sadly appear to be suffering after its installation. It would be appreciated if a list of problems you have had could be sent to my E Mail address so that it might strengthen our case against such an installation here. with many thanks in anticipation
    David McCormack

  2. further to my having re read the full details I note you are 4 years down the line of application and it looks as if you might win your case. We wish you luck but would love some guidance as after 4 years you are quite experienced and should you succeed we would like to follow in your shadow.
    regards David McCormack

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