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Peel Energy appeals Barton refusal

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”.


  1. Michael Ryan

    Kate Green MP has asked the first Parliamentary Question to challenge the way that the Health Protection Agency has been protecting our health for the last nine years, ie since they promised to check health data around incinerators – but chose to not bother.

    Incinerators: Health Hazards
    Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason the Health Protection Agency decided not to examine the effects on human health of incinerators in August 2003. [110900]
    Anne Milton: Since the Health Protection Agency (HPA) was formed in 2003, it has kept the literature on the health effects associated with emissions from incinerators under regular review. In 2005, the HPA published a position statement on the public health consequences of municipal solid waste incineration. Following developments in the literature in September 2009, the HPA published its updated position statement: The impact on health of emissions to air from municipal waste incinerators.
    (Hansard, 14 Jun 2012 : Column 547W)

  2. Michael Ryan

    This map shows the 2004-2008 infant death rates in the electoral wards in six West Midland council areas, two of which have incinerators:

    Peel Energy, and other promoters of incineration, will be delighted to read Sections 221 & 222 on page 58 of the Middlewich incinerator decision document dated 20 July 2012:

    221. Whilst there is no reason for refusal in relation to health, there is concern amongst third parties about the effects of the proposal on health. However, there are no objections whatsoever from the Council, EA, the Health Protection Agency, the Food Standards Agency or the Primary Care Trust, which is confirmation that such concerns are ill-founded.
    222. In any event health is principally an issue for the EA and the pollution control regime. Government guidance is clear on the proper delineation between the planning and pollution control regimes at paragraph 10 of PPS23.280 That advice is reiterated in PPS10 which tells WPAs to avoid carrying out their own detailed health assessments and instead advises that, drawing from Government advice and research and consultation with the relevant health authorities and agencies, they have sufficient advice on the health implications, if any, of proposals.281 Paragraph 30 of PPS10 further explains that modern, well-run and well-regulated waste management facilities operated in line with current pollution control techniques and standards should pose little risk to human health. The Council plainly received sufficient advice from the relevant health authorities to be properly informed on this matter and, despite being well aware of the considerable public concerns and objections on health grounds, properly decided that there was no sustainable health related objection.
    The Planning Inspectorate is now in a tizzy as they have refused to comply with my FoI request for the evidence that hadn’t been presented before or during the Shrewsbury incinerator public inquiry which persuaded the Inspector to reach this conclusion on page 29:
    Appeal Decision APP/L3245/A/11/2146219
    Conclusions on health effects
    100. On the third main issue, I find that the proposed EWF would have a low risk of harm to human health.

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