Plea Over North Acton Waste Incinerator
Open letter to Council Leader
A decision over plans to site a waste incinerator close to residential housing in North Acton has been deferred.
Local Conservative MP, Angie Bray, who was scheduled to speak at this evening's planning meeting (6/11) says she was called this afternoon and told the item is under further investigation.
Mark Walker, a representative from The Island Triangle Residents’ Association committee, writes to Councillor Julian Bell:
Dear Mr. Bell
I am writing to ask that you take account of the serious health and pollution risks to the North Acton ‘island triangle’ community from Clean Power Properties Ltd’s proposed energy recovery plant and withdraw your council’s consideration of it.
The plant is wholly unsuitable for our residential area of 200 homes as it will generate low level gases like sulphur dioxide and benzene for many years. Your council’s own environmental health department advised in August that the application be rejected since the developer cannot prove that it will not harm the local community.
Clean Power’s waste site will be fed by an average of 67 lorries every day, using the narrow Channel Gate Road, passing only 3-4 metres from local people’s small Victorian houses. Residents have for years been troubled by day and night noise, vibration and lorry pollution from the freight yard’s operations. Approving this proposal would lock local families into 16-hours-a-day vehicle pollution for a generation.
The North Acton community has already been plagued by odours of rubbish from the Powerday materials recovery site on the other side of Old Oak Lane - for almost a decade. Local people know, far better than your planners or an offshore developer’s paid advisers, the stupidity of siting waste plants by people’s homes – where the quality of life is frequently spoiled by simple (to an outsider) matters like a lorry that isn’t cleaned or a containment building not being correctly sealed during a shift.
You more than anyone will also be aware of this application’s non-compliance with the West London Waste Plan, the ongoing strategy for the area’s waste processing that comes under your direct remit. The WLWP has identified possible waste sites but Clean Power’s chosen site never made the study’s shortlist. This application is thus based on a discredited site and goes against your own council’s three-year investment in strategic waste options, consultations and expert conclusions.
Your council’s approval of this ill-advised energy recovery plant would be to condemn local people to a risky experiment in ‘green’ energy that will harm residents’ health and degrade the area with polluting activity. The pragmatic option would be to site a waste processing plant on an industrial estate next to food producers and other manufacturers’ operations – not in the middle of an existing residential area.
I urge you to seek safer and more practical alternatives to Clean Power’s unproven waste processing technologies. Approval of this high risk development would be a disaster for the already-blighted North Acton triangle. And it would demonstrate beyond doubt that you and your council have abandoned our community and your own principles of giving people a decent hearing and looking after their well-being.
6th November 2013