The UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) has called on the Government to equalise the planning appeal process for local residents in its forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework.
In a consultation response to the Government planning policy review, which closed on February 28, UKWIN criticised what it describes as an “asymmetrical right to appeal enjoyed by developers but not by the community”.
The response stated: “There is currently nothing in place to ensure that waste incinerators are not being imposed on communities against their expressed wishes. Public opposition to incineration is not even considered to be a material planning consideration.
“The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP said in a written ministerial statement that: ‘The national planning policy framework will set out the Government’s views on how the planning system in England can contribute to the delivery of a prosperous, competitive and attractive country based on the values of freedom, fairness and responsibility’.
“In the interests of fairness, communities should be able to have recourse to a public inquiry via an automatic right of appeal in circumstances where attempts are being made to impose an incinerator upon them without their consent.“
The planning policy review will consolidate policy statements and guidance documents into a single National Planning Policy Framework.
UKWIN co-ordinator Shlomo Dowen told MRW: “Communities feel that decision making is fair when there’s an independent arbiter like a planning inspector [to hear decisions].”
“We’re not even talking about every waste application, just incinerators. Given the scale of the build and the nature of the relationships between local authorities and waste management companies, they raise special issues that an ordinary transfer station or planning application would not.”