News just in from Ardley Against the Incinerator (AAI) who have today announced that they have turned to the courts to challenge the Secretary of State’s on 17th February 2011 decision to allow Viridor Waste Management to construct a 300,000 tonnes per year incinerator at Ardley Fields Farm. Continue reading »

After 15 intense days of evidence and cross examination the Planning Inquiry into the proposed Ardley Fields Farm Incinerator closed on Wednesday afternoon 28th July 2010. In the words of Mr Bedford (the barrister representing Oxfordshire County Council, who were defending their Planning Committee’s decision to refuse permission for the incinerator scheme): Continue reading »

MARCH/APRIL 2010

INTRODUCTION

If we believe that climate change is a serious threat to our planet, we can’t avoid the fact that CO2 is a major contributor to that threat. It seems preposterous that our Council should be proposing and supporting a technology – incineration – that actually adds to CO2 emissions and are still seriously considering locking us into a 25 year contract based on this outdated technology. Continue reading »

Appeals
Viridor is appealing against the Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Planning Committee decision to reject the proposed Ardley incinerator. The story is covered by The Herald and The Oxford Mail. Ardley Against the Incinerator is a group of dedicated and extremely concerned local residents, parents and businesses who are fighting plans to build a waste incinerator at Ardley Quarry, Oxfordshire.

Ardley Against the Incinerator chairman Jonathan O’Neill is quoted as saying:

We knew this was going to happen. We now need to wait for the appeal inspector to say what the appeal process is going to be, if they are going to have a hearing or take written submissions. We know people worked exceptionally hard in round one and we are going to be asking people to work exceptionally hard in round two. Just because they are appealing, we are not going to roll over.

Ardley with Fewcott Parish Council chairman Brian Steventon said:

Clearly, we shall be making representations, but how that will be handled will depend entirely on the inspector. This will be round two of the battle.

There is no news yet from WRG about whether or not they intend to appeal the Sutton Courtenay decision, but WRG have not withdrawn their Environmental Permit. Local campaigners Sutton Courtenay Against the Incinerator (SCAI) remain vigilant. SCAI continues with preparations to counter an appeal.

Environmental Permit
SCAI remains heavily involved in opposing WRG’s environmental permit application on a wide range of grounds, from air quality to flood risks.

For instance WRG have yet to provide an effective drainage scheme for their proposal, which is a requirement for both the incinerator proposal and an earlier extension of the landfill site to 2030, which the Planning Committee had approved 18 months ago, in July 2008.

Scrutiny
OCC has a number of scrutiny committees which can review and challenge decisions made by the Council. Members of these committees can also act on the behalf of local people in trying to influence council policies.

Local campiagners have formally requested the Growth and Infrastructure Scrutiny Committee review the processes and procedures adopted by the Council in the execution of its waste disposal plans and the alternatives now available. The Committee will be considering the request at its meeting on 18 February 2010.

People 2 – Incinerators 0

Those scores in more detail:
Oxfordshire County Council refused planning permission for an incinerator in Ardley by 9 votes to 4, and then they refused planning permission for an incinerator in Sutton Courtenay by 7 votes to 6

The Oxford Mail is reporting that Oxfordshire’s “Waste strategy in tatters as councillors veto incinerator plans“:

Oxfordshire County Council’s £100m plans for a waste incinerator were dealt a bodyblow today when its own planning committee rejected schemes to build at both Ardley and Sutton Courtenay.

The committee had been recommended to approve both planning applications by Viridor at Ardley — the council’s chosen tenderer — and a rival bid by Waste Recycling Group for Sutton Courtenay.

But they threw out both applications on the grounds that they conflict with district council Local Plans for both areas, which aim to protect the open countryside from “large permanent buildings”.

Quotable quotes:

Jon O’Neill, chairman of Ardley Against the Incinerator, thanked councillors who voted against giving planning permission. He said:

It was good to see councillors making their own decisions and not being whipped along party political lines. There may be a chance for Viridor to appeal against this decision and we will be ready to fight.

UKWIN member Callum MacKenzie, a spokesman for Sutton Courtenay against the Incinerator, said:

This is great news for Oxfordshire. WRG could not convince councillors that they would properly seal off any hazardous waste before it was transported for disposal and I think that tipped the balance in our favour. The vote was too close for comfort, but I think WRG would be foolish to persist with their plans now.

Fellow Sutton Courtenay campaigner Edmund Rowley-Williams added:

This is very good news, but we remain on our guard in case WRG try to reverse the process.

John Tanner, Labour county councillor for Isis, said:

Putting waste in holes in the ground is the worst thing you can do. The next worst thing you can do is set fire to it. Cherwell district council’s objection to the Ardley incinerator is that there would be a permanent industrial building in rural open land. This is yesterday’s technology and nobody knows how much waste will be created over the next 25 years.

Localgov.co.uk is reporting:

Oxfordshire CC has rejected a planning application from Viridor for a 300,000t a year energy-from-waste facility, just weeks after selecting the company as preferred bidder to build an incinerator.

The council’s planning and regulation committee this week refused both Viridor’s application for a facility at Ardley, and Waste Recycling Group (WRG)’s application for a 220,000t plant at Sutton Courtenay. In September, WRG lost out to Viridor as preferred bidder to treat the county’s waste.

The notion that 52% recycling by 2020 is less than ‘ambitious’ is familiar to waste campaigners. Now this has been confirmed in an article from the prestigious ENDS environmental news service.

Leading English councils hit 70% recycling rate

At least two English councils are achieving 70% recycling and composting during the summer months, making government targets to reach just 50% by 2020 look unambitious.

The two include South Oxfordshire and Rochford in Essex.

70% and above recycling and composting rates have been achieved in other parts of Europe for years – famously in the Flanders region of Belgium.

The government’s 2007 waste strategy requires English councils to recycle or compost 50% of their waste by 2020. But in 2007/08, 19 councils were already above that level (ENDS Report 406, pp 21-22 ).

Both Scotland and Wales have undertaken commitments to achieve 70% recycling targets.

According to ENDS:

South Oxfordshire, which achieved a 38% recycling rate in 2007/08, began a new waste collection contract in June. It is run by waste firm Verdant, a subsidiary of Greenstar.

The council already ran a co-mingled collection of dry recyclables alongside the paid-for garden waste collection. But in June, it added glass and Tetra Paks to its dry recyclables collection and started collecting food waste on a weekly basis from all households except flats. Since then, unaudited figures show it has achieved recycling and composting rates of 70.6% in June, 71.4% in July and 70.5% in August. The August rate breaks down as 36.0% dry recyclables, 21.6% garden waste and 12.9% food waste.

Rochford in Essex is reported to have broken the 70% recycling mark when it started a new collection contract in July 2008, that included free weekly collection of food and garden waste alongside accepting plastics and cardboard in its dry recyclables collection.

According to The Oxford Times Oxfordshire parishes are lobbing Secretary of State Hazel Blears over the proposed incinerator at Ardley. Continue reading »

Cherwell District Council has joined the growing list of district councils prepared to back local anti-incinerator campaigners. Continue reading »

Bedfordshire
Outline Business Case for Bedfordshire Energy and Recycling (BEAR) project rubber stamped by Bedford Borough Council’s implementation executive.
See Incinerator gets the green light but not the green backing
and Lib Dems step up campaign to sabotage plans for Rookery pit incinerator

North London
The authority that manages north London’s waste says it has come up with a plan to reduce reliance on an out-of-date incinerator.
See North London to cut incineration

The North London Waste Authority has announced Continue reading »

In addition to reading the updates (below) and visiting the various campaign group websites, you might also like to view the brief BBC Look East video clip on incineration and read the UKWIN coverage on Lets Recycle. I trust you all caught the BBC’s One O’Clock News on Thursday…UKWIN is about 1 minute and 35 seconds in…

Brief updates about current UK anti-incineration campaigns.

If your campaign news is not included, please contact the UKWIN Coordinator with your update! Continue reading »

Spanish-owned Waste Recycling Group (WRG) is expected to submit plans for a household waste incinerator at Sutton Courtenay to the Vale of White Horse District Council during the week commencing 21 July 2008. Oxfordshire County Council is in the process of procuring a contract for an incinerator capable of burning at least 300,000 tonnes of waste each year. A decision is due early next year as to which company will win the £100 – £200m contract, with WRG short-listed alongside Viridor. Continue reading »

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