Peel Energy has decided to appeal against Trafford Council’s unanimous decision to reject the controversial Barton “Renewable” Energy Plant. Local UKWIN member group Breathe Clean Air Group have pledged to fight this all the way. “This incinerator has got to be stopped” said Pete Kilvert, Chairman of BCAG, “because if we don’t, we will be stuck with its pollution for the next 25 years”.
The proposed facility would, if it were built, process around 200,000 of biomass and solid recovered fuel (SRF) and would be located at land to the South of Manchester Ship Canal and West of Barton Bridge, Davyhulme, Urmston, Trafford. The planning application was submitted in December 2010 and rejected by Trafford Council in November 2011, with Falkirk Council voting to oppose the application in February 2011 (source, View Application).
Peel Energy claims that 90% of the feedstock would be biomass, with 70-75% “waste wood”, some of which is potentially from civic municipal facilities, and “15-25% from other plant-derived biomass, such as managed forestry residues, energy crops and agricultural residues”.
Trafford Council’s first ground for refusal is that: “The proposed development of a facility which involves the incineration of biomass fuels would, by reason of its scale of operation, presence and location, have a detrimental impact upon the vitality and attractiveness of, and the self-confidence of communities within, the nearby established areas of Davyhulme, Flixton and Urmston and would thereby prejudice the continuing regeneration and improvement of these areas which have been identified by the Council as being in need of investment. The proposal would therefore be contrary to Policy WD5 of the Revised Trafford Unitary Development Plan”.
Trafford Council’s second ground for refusal is that: “The proposed development raises significant concerns amongst nearby communities that, on the basis of publicly available and respectable scientific evidence about possible adverse impacts of the incineration of biomass waste, it would contribute to a substantial reduction in air quality in an area which is already designated an Air Quality Management Area. As a result there is a widely held objective perception substantiated by independent objective scientific evidence that the development poses an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of those communities. Government guidance as set out in Planning Policy Statement 23 Planning and Pollution Control states that the objective perception of unacceptable risk to the health and safety of the public arising from a proposed development is a material consideration which should be taken into account when determining a planning application. The nature and extent of the perceptions held by people living in nearby communities with regard to the risk to health and safety arising from the proposed development is such that it has considerable weight when considered against the proposal and requires that the proposal should be refused”.