On Wednesday 20th April, Northacre Renewable Energy’s proposal for a waste incinerator came in front of Wiltshire Council’s Strategic Planning Committee following the Government’s decision not to ‘call in’ the issue and rule on it directly.
The Committee voted to defer their decision until the end of July based largely on a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs consultation which proposes that waste sent to landfill or for incineration be halved by 2042. The consultation runs until May and DEFRA has committed to drawing up legislation by the end of October.
Local MP Dr Andrew Murrison welcomed the recognition by the Committee of the importance of this consultation, having made the case for considering it during the meeting, and the overall reasonable outcome.
Speaking at the Committee meeting, Andrew said:
“The consultation document on the 16th March is extremely significant. It would be imprudent to make a decision today which ended up being contrary to government policy.
“The implication of halving the amount of waste going to landfill and to incineration is that you are potentially having a plant in Westbury that will need to attract waste from elsewhere.
“We could have a situation in which a quality Westbury signature operation in Arla is displaced in favour of a waste burner.
“I find it remarkable that an authority such as this one in a county like this would countenance such a thing.
“Please understand the sentiments in the town of Westbury – a town that does feel itself, I think with some justification on occasion, to be badly seen off – and how they’re going to feel if you feel it’s appropriate to dump this unwanted unrequired overcapacity thing on them.”