For almost two years, campaigners from the Breathe Clean Air Group have been fighting Peel Holdings' plans for the `Barton Renewable Energy Plant' - also known as an incinerator – to be situated on the Trafford side of the Manchester Ship Canal.
"It proposes to burn waste wood and other waste and its emissions are bound to include nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, heavy metals including arsenic, dioxins, volatile organic compounds and fine particulate matter" Pete Kilvert of the Breathe Clean Air Group told the Salford Star earlier this year
"All have health and environmental impacts" he added "Salford is down wind of this plant due to the south-westerly prevailing wind. So it is forecast that Salford citizens will suffer ill health, disease and premature death."
Nice eh? Trafford Council has consistently opposed the plant, even issuing an official statement last June stating that it "deplores the recent action of Peel Energy in appealing the decision of Trafford Council's Planning Committee to refuse planning permission for a bio-mass incinerator in Davyhulme. This was a unanimous decision of the planning committee on the grounds of the perceived threat to the health of Trafford residents. The Council demands that Peel Energy reconsiders its decision to appeal the refusal and withdraws their appeal forthwith." (see here for previous article)
Peel Energy, the subsid of Peel Holdings, which is developing the plant, refused to withdraw its appeal, and this month the Environment Agency granted Peel an Environmental Permit.
In August, Salford City Council objected to Permit application stating the risks associated with… "The location of a operating plant in an area where air quality standards are significantly exceeded with some of the highest levels in Greater Manchester" and concluding that "The location of the plant and the impact of the emissions remain a serious concern in terms of health impacts and compliance with the air quality standards."
The granting of the Environmental Permit has been branded as "irresponsible" by the Breathe Clean Air Group which has consistently campaigned against Peel and is currently seeking legal advice on the ruling.
After the granting of the Permit, Local Environment Agency (EA) director Gordon Whittaker claimed in a radio interview that he was confident that emissions for the plant could meet the standards based on other comparable plants. However, the Group claims, the EA had previously stated that there are no other comparable plants in the UK. The Group has written to Whittaker asking him to show them such `comparable plants' and issued the following statement…
"The Breathe Clean Air Group views the Environment Agency's decision to issue an Environmental Permit to the Barton Renewable Energy Plant as completely irresponsible, although consistent with their previous decisions. The EA has never said 'no' to an incinerator application, despite many of these being located in areas of illegally poor air quality.
"We would like to know just how the Environment Agency intend to clean up our air when they allow a polluting biomass waste incinerator to operate in a highly populated and highly polluted area.
"Peel Energy needs two permits and this is only one of them. It is now absolutely essential that BCAG and all of the local community focus its attention on stopping the planning permit at the forthcoming Public Inquiry in November. We need people to attend the Inquiry and speak to voice their concerns. It is literally the last chance to stop this filthy incinerator."
The Public Inquiry begins November 13th at 10am at The International Suite, West Stand at Manchester United's Old Trafford.
For further details see the Breathe Clean Air Group website - click here
Campaigners against the Monton Incinerator, also subject to a planning appeal after being turned down by Salford Council, will no doubt be watching closely…
See previous Salford Star articles on the Barton Incinerator
Peel Holdings takes on Trafford Council in Incinerator Disgrace - click here
Peel Holdings Incinerator Protest - click here
Peel Holdings Misled Public Over Barton Incinerator - click here
Main photo shows campaigners at their stall in Urmston