INCINERATOR: Assessment is now imperative

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Negotiations between the Sutton Bridge incinerator developer and South Holland District Council (SHDC) seem to be dragging on.

I would ask why it is taking them so long to deal with questions regarding the proposed incinerator, answers to which should have been addressed in the original application?

How could the planning committee have possibly passed such a huge application when it clearly did not contain all the information required?

Perhaps SHDC planners now realise that the objectors to this application have done their homework. SHDC must now do theirs.

They totally ignored borough and parish councils, groups and members of the public who pointed out that the application was lacking in important information and described the problems that such plants cause and strongly advised a full independent Environmental Impact Assessment be undertaken.

It is imperative that this must now happen.

By asking the developer for more information, SHDC are now clearly admitting that the original application was in fact flawed. This was proved after Coun Shirley Giles won her legal challenge against SHDC.

I thank our MP John Hayes for supporting the residents of Sutton Bridge in our endeavours to get a public Inquiry and for joining the Wash and Sutton Bridge Protection Group (WSBPG) in Long Sutton last Friday when they handed out leaflets informing the public of the effects an incinerator would have on our lives.

I believe that John is helping the Pinchbeck wind farm group to get an inquiry and rightly so. We can only hope that with the huge amount of objections submitted by Sutton Bridge residents and others we will also have that privilege.

We do not want it just called in. This could allow a minister to nod it through on the eve of an election as happened with the existing gas-fired power station. We want a full public inquiry.

The huge developments intended for Sutton Bridge would be extremely close to the Wash which carries the highest levels of designation being both a Wetland of International Importance, a Special Protected Area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.

Like the Pinchbeck windfarm group I am shocked at the lack of interest shown by Natural England, but guess we are dealing with yet another body understaffed because of Government cuts. Meanwhile the environment suffers.

The application site is also a Zone 3 flood risk area and National planning policy advises local planning authorities to divert development away from such areas.

The gasifier application will clearly have to go out to consultation again and I hope this time everyone takes the time to study the massive amount of new information which proves that biomass is certainly not the way forward.

I remain surprised that the two district councillors for Sutton Bridge did not ask for this inadequate application to be called in in the first place.

Tom Rowe

Sutton Bridge