Mass waste burner looks like it will get go ahead
THE controversial incinerator at Javelin Park should go ahead, say council planning officers.
They announced on Monday that they are recommending the planning application for the waster burner in Haresfield be approved.
Their report will be considered by Gloucestershire County Council's planning committee on Thursday March 21 when councillors will decide whether the £500million burner can go head.
The Conservative-led council has already awarded a contract to applicant Urbaser Balfour Beatty to build the incinerator.
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But more than 4,000 people have objected to the plan – including Bisley author Jilly Cooper and environmentalist Jonathan Porrit.
They plan a protest at the site tomorrow with a helium balloon on a line measuring 70m – the height of the planned incinerator's chimney.
Stroud District Council wants the Government to call in the application to make the final decision.
The planners' recommendation came as fears that the UK will have too many incinerators in the next two years were raised.
Some 100 incinerators are being proposed or are in the planning process, adding to the 32 which are already operating.
An influential report says they could become white elephants even before they are built. Waste consultants Eunomia have warned that an overcapacity of incinerators could "compete with, not complement, recycling".
But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said it will pull funding from some schemes to prevent overcapacity.
Urbaser Balfour Beatty bosses remained buoyant.
Project director Javier Peiro said: "The proposed energy from waste facility at Javelin Park has been developed to support the county council's aspirations of recycling or composting 70% of its municipal waste.
"Anything left after recycling and composting still accounts for many thousands of tonnes of waste which needs to be dealt with.
"Through municipal and commercial sources, more waste is being generated in the county than this facility has capacity to treat."
He added: "The council is doing the right thing in taking responsibility for the waste generated in Gloucestershire rather than transporting it out of the county at higher environmental and economic cost.
"The facility will divert up to 92% of waste from landfill while creating enough power for 25,000 homes."
Protesters will come face to face with county planning committee members when they arrive to inspect the proposed waste incinerator site at Javelin Park, next to Blooms Nursery, at 11am tomorrow.
Campaigners want to encourage the planning committee to refuse permission and replace the scheme with a cheaper, safer, less visibly intrusive, environment-ally-friendly option.
GlosVAIN is planning an orderly demonstration, with colourful banners and a 70m helium balloon to demonstrate the height of the proposed incinerator stack.
Sue Oppenheimer, chairman of GlosVAIN, said: "We are hoping people will come and show their strength of feeling against this proposal.
"We want county councillors to get the message that alternative technologies would be less visually intrusive, better for the environment, more flexible and much cheaper, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions over the life of the project."
Diana Shirley, spokesperson for Gloucestershire against Incinerators, said: "Tory coun-cillors are in the majority on the planning committee and it is the Conservative administration which has developed this project. We hope planning committee members will act with integrity and not vote along party lines."