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Community claims victory over waste plant plans

Campaigners who have thrown out plans for a controversial waste transfer station in Portobello, Edinburgh, have said it is a victory for community power.

Waste company Viridor wanted to build the facility to move waste from lorries onto trains before being transferred to a landfill site in Dunbar.

The campaign group Portobello Opposes New Garbage Site (PONGS) voiced their concerns over potential problems such as traffic, noise, disturbance, light pollution and smells.

Councillors voted 9-3 against the waste transfer centre proposals at a planning committee meeting.

PONGS spokeswoman Diana Cairns told MRW that there was no justification for the plant and it was a commercial proposal from Viridor. She said that Viridor would have to truck in waste from an increasingly wide area in order to ensure the financial viability of the operation. This would have negated their already flimsy arguments about the carbon savings they alleged such a plant would bring about.

She added that winning the battle was a demonstration of community power which may help other community groups fighting unpopular or inappropriate planning applications to realise these battles can be won.

Cairns explained: It is a vindication that the very real concerns the community had about these plans were material considerations in planning terms. It is to be hoped that it will make Viridor and other companies think twice about trying to impose inappropriate and damaging proposals in residential areas.

Viridors Dan Cooke said: The location we proposed to use was not in a residential area it was where a Freightliner rail terminal used to be.
Cooke said that Viridor would reflect on what their next steps would be and may appeal against the decision.

We will continue all dialogue with the community and will be considering all our options.

Previous story, Viridor's waste transfer plans thrown out, 01/08/08

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