Witham Northern’s Conservative candidate, Ross Playle, has spoken candidly about his opposition to the long-running proposals being pushed by a developer to build an incinerator plant on the old Rivenhall Airfield site.
Speaking at a full council meeting of Braintree District Council on 17th February, Ross spoke in support of the cross-party motion reaffirming the Council’s objections to the plans which could see a rise in emissions and a significant increase in road traffic from waste trucks needing to feed the incinerator.
Last year Essex County Council made clear that the need for the incinerator was not there and that waste would have to be transported in from further afield to make the plant viable. But now, the developers, Gent Fairhead & Co have submitted revised plans which include a lower chimney stack and how they intend to monitor emission levels.
Ross said, “Since the first plans for an incinerator were put forward, our understanding of how waste can be managed and alternative ways of generating electricity has significantly evolved - just over the last couple of weekends a significant proportion of the UK’s electricity has been generated by wind power.
In addition to this, the process of burning waste produces very high levels of CO2 and more carbon missions are emitted by burning plastics than coal to produce energy. This decision cannot be taken in silo to the Government’s commitment for the UK to be Carbon neutral by 2050 and the current efforts to phase out all remaining UK coal plants by 2025.
The developer’s ‘marking their own homework’ approach to self-monitor air quality is clearly unacceptable to residents who are understandably fed-up after a 10 year battle and want the plans chucked out for good. I welcome and support this cross-party motion and the councils continued opposition to these proposals”.
The Council motion was carried receiving cross-party support. The Environment Agency’s consultation on the amended designs has now closed with their decision awaiting.