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Blears decision on Nottingham energy-from-waste challenged

Campaigners against expansion plans at a Nottingham energy-from-waste plant say they will contest the Secretary of States decision to grant permission. The conflict between campaigners and waste management company WRG centres on plans to expand its Eastcroft energy-from-waste facility.

The addition of a third processing line would increase capacity by a 100,000 tonnes a year to 260,000 tonnes a year.

WRG submitted its application to Nottingham City Council in August 2007 but the application was denied. WRG appealed in September 2008 and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears recovered the appeal from the planning inspectorate on 30 September 2008 because it had a bearing on Government Climate Change policy.

But campaigning group UK Without Incinerators Network co-ordinator Shlomo Dowen told MRW that the decision was vulnerable to legal challenge.

A Nottingham City Council spokeswoman said it does not support the planning decision either.
Dowen questioned the legitimacy of the conclusions in the DCLGs report on the decision. He said Blears conclusion did not appear to have given any weight to the climate change emissions that would result.

Referring to emissions claims made by WRG, Dowen said it was disingenuous to compare CO2 produced by landfill with CO2 produced by incinerators. He said that waste that was being burned could have been treated with anaerobic digestion or turned into biofuel.

It should not be assumed that if it doesnt go to incineration, it will go to landfill.
Biodegradable waste rots over a long time releasing CO2 but with incineration it is released immediately. Its better to landfill certain waste (such as plastics) for the time being than incinerate it from a climate change and resource use point of view.

Win or lose, if the interests of democracy are served people can live with the decision. But in this instance, theres a feeling that this decision was not based on sound reasoning.


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