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EfW plans to go before Parliament

Objectors to a planned £350m energy-from-waste incinerator in Bedfordshire are preparing to take their campaign to Parliament.

A 21-day Parliamentary petitioning period began on 29 November for people affected by the proposed construction at Rookery South Pit, a former brick clay extraction pit, near Stewartby.

The procedure, activated the use of a compulsory purchase order on the land for the development, allows interested parties to give evidence to a joint committee of Parliament to consider whether the project should go ahead. The plans received approval from the Infrastructure Planning Commission in October.

The Covanta Energy plant would encompass an EfW facility and post treatment MRF. The site would convert around 585,000 tonnes of residual waste per year into 65MW of electricity - 55MW of this would go to the national grid. At least half of the energy generated will be classified as renewable.

The Marston Moreteyne Action Group (MMAG) has registered as an interested party in order to petition against the proposed facility.

Hugh Roberts, chair of MMAG, said: “We will revisit our case that this facility is not needed here. We will attempt to persuade Parliament that the will of the people has been ignored and that this is their opportunity to restore our confidence in them.”

In its submission to the IPC in October 2010 MMAG said it objected to the plans on the basis of air emission, the effects on biodiversity and geological conservation, “dust, odour, artificial light, smoke, steam and insect infestation”, the visual impact, the size of the site, noise, and traffic.

They said: “To situate the EfW within Rookery Pit South adjacent to the Marston Vale Millennium Country Park – a primary purpose of which is to re-forest the Marston Vale – would be a retrograde step ecologically and lead to significant habitat loss and ultimately the industrialisation of Rookery Pit South.”

The mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson, has objected to the plant because he is against incineration. The local paper has said the mayor suggested his council will not send rubbish to the plant if it is built.

MRW contacted Covanta but the company declined to comment.

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