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Veolia called to pre-inquiry meeting

The Planning Inspectorate has called all parties involved in the proposed development of an incinerator in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire to a pre-inquiry meeting on June 7 ahead of the third resumption of the public inquiry on September 28.

This move comes after Veolia Environmental Services informed the Planning Inspectorate that it wished to continue with plans to develop the controversial incinerator on a former colliery site following the second postponement of a public inquiry.

At one stage anti-incineration activists were confident that Veolia would abandon its plans for the energy from waste (EfW) plant. However, on May 17 a letter from Veolia’s solicitors Bond Pearce informed the authorities that it wished to continue with the proposals and would resume the inquiry on Tuesday September 28.

The letter stated: “The Applicant wishes to proceed with the Inquiry without any further adjournment and that the Inquiry should, as agreed by the inspector, then resume at 9am on Tuesday September 28  2010 at Rainworth Village Hall.

“In view of this, we understand that the pre-inquiry meeting scheduled for 7 June 2010 will no longer be required.”

However, given that no agreement has yet been reached between Veolia and Natural England (NE) and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust (NWT) over the list of methodologies that will be used to determine the effects of the proposed incinerator on certain species of protected birds in the area, the Planning Inspector has deemed that a pre-inquiry meeting will indeed be necessary.

According to the letter from the Planning Inspector, the purpose of the meeting will be to: “Consider the steps that need to be taken so that the inquiry can close, before the end of October 2010, with sufficient evidence to enable the Secretary of State to determine the appeal properly and lawfully.”

As well as this, the Planning Inspector has also said that it will allow the group campaigning against the incinerator, People Against Incineration Network (PAIN), the chance to submit further evidence to the inquiry.

PAIN legal and research team co-chair Shlomo Dowen said the request for the pre-inquiry meeting is “significant”.

Veolia issued the following statement: “We have recently written to the Planning Inspectorate to confirm to them that we wish to proceed with the Inquiry.

“Following recent meetings with other stakeholders, the additional ecological assessment work requested will be undertaken in the next few months and this will be put into the public domain prior to the reconvened Inquiry.”

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