This week the Appeal against the decision taken by West Sussex County Council to reject the proposed Incinerator planned by Britaniacrest will begin to be heard in Horsham.
Jeremy Quin, the MP for Horsham has issued the following statement:
“It is very clear from the volume of constituent correspondence on this issue that it is a matter of great concern to many local residents.
I was delighted by the decision taken by West Sussex County Council to reject the application and I am pleased that they intend to defend their decision robustly in the current appeal. I also recognise the huge work undertaken by the local community group Ni4H, which will also be represented at the Planning Inquiry.
The Inspector will look at the Appeal strictly in accordance with planning law.
I am, however, very conscious from representations made to me that the proposed incinerator has given rise to wider concerns among constituents.
Decisions that may “give rise to substantial regional controversy”, which are “matters of more than local significance” or which are deemed a matter of “major significance for the delivery of the Government’s climate change programme and energy policies” can all be “recovered” by the Secretary of State for the ultimate decision to be taken by Government.
Given the Government’s focus on increasing recycling, many constituents have asked whether the Incinerator is required and necessary, especially in the context of the proposed construction of an Energy from Waste facility at Ford, only 25 miles from Horsham. Avoiding the risk of the creation of any overcapacity in incineration may be deemed a legitimate area of Government interest in the context of climate change policies and the impact of an expansion of the number of incinerators on the supply and demand of waste for incineration.
Constituents have stressed to me that they believe that the ‘carbon intensity’ of energy produced through waste incineration is substantially more than low carbon emission sources. Residents have also argued that, given the decarbonisation of the electricity supply, incinerators built after 2020 would have a relatively greater adverse climate change impact.
Given the issues to be discussed at the Appeal and the wider implications of this decision, I think there are legitimate reasons for the Secretary of State to consider a “Recovery” and, acting on behalf of constituents, I have made that formal request to the Secretary of State.
As the MP for Horsham I was delighted by the County Council’s decision to deny planning permission and I am determined to ensure that any decision on the incinerator is tested through every possible stage of consideration to ensure we get the right answer.”
The Chairman of Ni4H (the No Incinerator for Horsham Community Group) welcomed Jeremy’s intervention. Chairman, Peter Catchpole, commented: “Ni4H welcome the initiative of our local MP Jeremy Quin to request the Secretary of State to consider a “Recovery” of the Incinerator Appeal. We are aware that many local people have expressed their concerns about their future wellbeing and that of future generations if the incinerator comes to this area and the wholesale change of character that would be brought to our market town. Referring the Appeal will ensure that the wider implications of this decision are taken by Government.”