Nottinghamshire Case Study, July 2008

As a community we had been completely unaware of the plans that Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) and Veolia had for us. Forest Town was to host a 200,000 tonne per annum waste incinerator and nobody had bothered to ask how we felt. West Notts Friends of the Earth joined forces with local residents’ fora, like the Forest Town Community Council, to organise our response.

We held several public meetings attended by hundreds of local people, and campaigners from Bolsover (who told us of their victory and gave us hope) and Nottingham (who provided some excellent guest speakers). This resulted in the formation of Mansfield Against Incineration (MAIN). Through regular meetings and occasional celebrations, combined with a great deal of research and growing credibility with the local media, we managed to bring about an unprecedented cross-party agreement.

Mansfield District Councillors (MDC) voted to oppose the siting of a waste incinerator anywhere in the District. MDC withdrew the Forest Town plot from the market, sending Veolia into a panic to find landowner prepared to provide space for an incinerator. They were under pressure to find a replacement site quickly because Veolia and NCC were already behind schedule with their Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts.

In their haste Veolia applied for planning permission to build their incinerator on a green field site earmarked for restoration to heathland and woodland, destined to join its neighbouring Sites of Special
Scientific Interest (SSSIs) as part of an emerging Sherwood Forest Regional Park. Veterans of the MAIN campaign (the MAIN-iacs) crossed the border into Newark & Sherwood District and offered a helping hand to the community of Rainworth. Together we formed People Against Incineration (PAIN).

PAIN’s hundreds of members and supporters continue to work together to learn about the dangers of incineration and the viability of alternatives such as anaerobic digestion. Veolia submitted their
planning application to NCC in December 2007. PAIN’s objections, entitled Wrong Site, Wrong technology and available from http://www.p-a-in.co.uk have been joined by planning objections from naturalist David Bellamy, the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England, the Environment Agency and fans of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest from all over the world!

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