SUTTON BRIDGE GASIFIER: Can you honestly say this is safe?

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(Regarding the plans for a gasifier in Sutton Bridge) I am given to understand that the job of the (planning) committee, having viewed, and given full consideration to the full details of the application, is to decide whether to accept or reject the application.

I also understand that the purpose of a planning committee meeting is to determine whether any proposed building will have an impact on its surroundings and that concerns about emissions, no matter how genuine, are not in the remit of planning committees.

But I should like to point out that this application included an EIA, albeit produced by the applicants, not an independent EIA as some agencies requested, and that a number of issues raised by relevant authorities have not been fully, or satisfactorily, answered. This application is about an industrial process, not simply about a building and its impact on the surrounding area.

As a resident, who lives within the catchment area of the planned site, I have grave concerns about the health of myself, my family and my community as well as the future health of generations to come.

It is easy to dismiss this fear with a wave of the hand, or a line through a text, but dismissals of similar concerns were made about asbestos and radiation, and we all know people who have suffered and died of asbestosis. And it is still causing problems.

Similarly, the effect of radiation from nuclear power plants have caused , and continue to cause, harm to people living near to the source of production. No amount of safeguards can eliminate any future possible harm. The plain fact is that nobody knows. It is simply not good enough to say that emissions are ‘small’, or ‘insignificant’.

The Wingland site could have three structures producing emissions. Cumulatively, this has to be harmful. It is only logical. Experts in the past have been wrong.

So I ask you, all of you, as individuals, a moral question: can you really put your hand on your heart and say in all honesty that this application has been properly considered and is safe for us and future generations. In yours shoes, I could not.

Janet Blundell

Sutton Bridge