As expected NYCC’s planning committee approved the Allerton Park incinerator application today. So likely was it that, as judge, jury and executioner, this would be North Yorkshire County Council’s decision, we wrote most of this newsletter last night! The result was 9 – 2 in favour.
Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come to County Hall today. There was a small chance that we might influence the decision. You have also sent out a strong message to Government that people are strongly against this proposal.
We always knew it would be an uphill struggle with NYCC, given that the council voted in favour of the scheme back in December 2010. That’s why we have consistently campaigned for the application to be called in by the Secretary of State and determined at a public inquiry by an independent planning inspector. We remain confident that the outcome of an independent planning inquiry will be that the application is rejected. And it is also important to note that NYCC still have to prove that the scheme offers “value for money” – something we intend to prove it most certainly does not.
So now the time has come to step up the pressure for call-in. Our local MPs, Harrogate Borough Council, local parish and town councils, NYWAG and many individual objectors have already urged that the application be called in. But we know that the Secretary of State takes into account the weight of opposition in decided whether to order call-in, and that means we are asking for one last big effort to secure an independent public inquiry.
We need as many people as possible to write to the Secretary of State asking for call-in.
There are many, many reasons why the application should be called in but any letter you write does not need to cover them all: the most important thing is that you send a letter or an email urging that ‘the application be called in to Public Inquiry’. Please include Public Inquiry in those words.
Amongst the reasons for call-in are:
- This decision is of regional and national importance;
- NYCC is not impartial: it has a vested interest in the outcome and calls itself the applicant’s ‘partner’;
- The highly technical nature of the project needs a level of expertise greater than NYCC possesses – their Officer’s report states as much with respect to climate change impacts;
- The proposal conflicts with national and EU policies on recycling and carbon emissions;
- The scheme will involve what amounts to state-aid for a private company (the applicant) by subsidizing the cost of treating trade waste via excessively high costs for household waste. This is unacceptable;
- Sustainability is a key test under planning law. AWRP is not a sustainable solution because it does not meet the needs of the present and compromises the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It will destroy valuable material rather than recycle it and expose council tax payers to major financial risks. It will emit substances harmful to man, wildlife and the environment;
- It conflicts with local planning law. Harrogate Borough Council, which would be the planning authority for any industrial development other than a waste plant, is strongly against the application;
- At least two of our MPs are publically opposed to the scheme – Nigel Adams and Andrew Jones – and have requested call-in;
- There’s permanent harm to visual amenity and nationally important local heritage sites caused by siting this industrial building in open countryside. This harm cannot be mitigated.
Letters or emails in your own words from individuals count for more than ones from households, so we would ask that everyone in your home writes to the Secretary of State, no matter how briefly.
The address to write to is:
National Planning Casework Unit, 5 St Philips Place, Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2PW
The email address to write to is:
Please ask everyone you know to take a few minutes to write a letter or email as soon as you possible, it really can make a difference.