After attending the planning meeting I have one word to describe it: “shambolic”.
The planning committee appeared unprepared and inept.
Coun Rudkin said she didn’t understand all the intricate detail of a non-technical summary and that the 32 conditions were impossible to understand. Apart from that, she appeared to be the only councillor to grasp the nettle.
Coun Grocock and CounJohnson also said they struggled to understand parts of the report.
They are trusted to make a decisions on the issue of a multi-million pound project that will be to the detriment of thousands of people. They may just as well have been discussing an application for a sweet shop. None of those present had fully familiarised themselves with the technical information.
The slideshow selectively omitted the 49 properties that Stephanie Wheeler mentioned that would be in very close proximity to the proposed site for the gasifier and the A17 was eerily traffic free.
Chairman Roger Gambba Jones exceeded his position by being too opinionated and directional. His bullish attitude appeared to debase many members.
The half-hearted decision to defer approval on the premise that PREL must return to a further planning meeting to say how they will supply electricity to the residents and commercial businesses at a discounted rate is no more than a ruse.
The parishioners have made it clear they do not want the gasifier, a cohesion fund or discounted electricity,
Planning committee also failed to answer Coun Rowe’s question: “Why did South Holland District Council only approach PREL?”
It appears to me that in only approaching PREL it was already a “done deal”.
The Forestry Commission were “surprised” they were not consulted and said that assumptions of significant fuel supply coming from the forestry sector was unrelaistic, with the 350,000 tonnes required per year far exceeding the estimated 200,000 tonnes in the whole region.
A full public enquiry is required before any decisions can be made.