Cirencester councillor blasts Gloucestershire County Council's waste incinerator plans
A COTSWOLD district councillor has joined a growing number of politicians, personalities and residents who are calling for a U-turn on plans for a multi-million pound waste incinerator in Gloucestershire.
Cotswold district and Cirencester town councillor John Hughes believes that Gloucestershire County Council’s plans for a £500m waste incinerator will not only cause unnecessary environmental problems but will also be a "massive waste" of taxpayers’ money.
Although the incinerator will be around 18 miles from Cirencester at Javelin Park, off junction 12 of the M4, Cllr Hughes said the project would have a direct impact on them on local residents.
"Our taxes are paying for this and our waste will probably be sent there to be burned," he explained. "The air pollution plume that will come out of this horrendously big chimney will travel over a 25 mile radius, so it’s definitely a Cirencester issue."
GCC hope that the incinerator will help cut down on expensive landfill by burning up to 190,000 tonnes of waste each year, which would also generate electricity for 25,000 homes.
However, Cllr Hughes said agreeing a 25-year and £500m contract was short-sighted.
The Friends of the Earth member said environmentally friendly alternatives were already available and with reusing and recycling on the up, waste was being reduced, making the incinerator an outdated and inefficient resource.
GCC has already agreed to award Ubaser Balfour Beatty a contract for the 70metre high incinerator and if the scheme does not go ahead the council will have to pay a £15m penalty to the company.
Despite this, campaign groups such as GlosVAIN are making a last bid to scupper the project and are encouraging people to write to Eric Pickles, minister for communities and local government, to call-in the application and take the decision away from GCC.
Cllr Stan Waddington, ‘cabinet champion’ for waste, said that Lib Dem councillor John Hughes’ comments were politically motivated.
"The new facility will save local taxpayers up to £190 million over the next 25 years, as well as providing enough renewable energy to power 25,000 homes," Cllr Waddington said. "It is safe, clean and will only deal with Gloucestershire’s rubbish that can’t sensibly be recycled."
Javier Peiro, project director for UBB, said the proposals would prevent 270,000 tonnes of methane being produced from landfill while increasing Gloucestershire’s renewable energy production by 50 per cent.
She added: "There will be no visible ‘smoke’ from the stack. The only thing that may occasionally be visible is steam, which even in the worst case weather conditions would not extend more than 262m from the stack."
Find out more at facebook.com/GlosVAIN, at gloucestershire.gov.uk and at ubbgloucestershire.co.uk