After an eight year community fight which has involved public inquiries, opposition from both Trafford and Salford City Council, marches and press campaigns, it looks like Peel Holdings' so-called Barton Renewable Energy Plant has finally met its doom.
Campaigners from the Breathe Clean Air Group (BCAG) argued that the incinerator, which would have burned waste wood amongst other things and was to be cited just over the Manchester Ship Canal from the AJ Bell Stadium, would have released emissions, including nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, heavy metals and fine particulate matter into Salford which was downwind of the plant...
"Salford citizens will suffer ill health, disease and premature death" stated the campaign a few years ago, while Trafford Council kicked out plans citing "genuine and significant public concern over the perceived impact on public health".*
Now, the Breathe Clean Air Group has unearthed documentation showing that Peel Energy surrendered the plant's Environmental Permit on 9th August 2017, confirmed in a statement to the group from Managing Director Mr Muir Miller...
"We have temporarily surrendered the licence [Environmental Permit] and continue to review the current and emerging government energy policies" he wrote "Peel Energy remain committed to see energy generation on this site given the attributes the site possesses for such an investment. When we make further decisions we will update the website page."
While Peel doesn't take any notice of community campaigns or even local council opposition, it does take notice of its pockets, and the halting of the incinerator appears to relate to changes in Government subsidies for renewable electricity, given the impact on pollution levels.
A letter that BCAG has received from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), states "The Government has announced that it will conduct a cross-departmental review into the role of biomass in future policy for low carbon electricity and heat, focussing on the air quality impacts. The proposed way forward will be set out in the final Clean Air Strategy, which will be released later this year."
National campaign group Biofuelwatch added "The Government has announced changes to rules for renewable electricity subsidies, which we believe will all but stop the expansion of biomass burning for electricity in the UK. We expect the new rules to put an end to several plans for (building) new biomass power stations across the UK, such as the Peel Energy waste wood incinerator in Trafford, which local residents have been fighting to stop for many years."
The Breathe Clean Air Group feels vindicated and is obviously thrilled at the news...
"After eight years of opposing this development, we are delighted at its demise" says Peter Kilvert Chair of BCAG "The incinerator would have burnt waste wood and other waste, in a built-up location, using out-dated technology and flawed modelling, which would have resulted in toxic emissions and serious ill-health impacts.
"The future of the Peel site alongside the Manchester Ship Canal in Davyhulme is still in doubt" he adds "but we are confident that Peel's proposal to build a biomass-fuelled power plant have been ended..."
*For a full background see previous Salford Star articles...
Salford Joins March Against Incinerator – click here
Peel Holdings Takes on Trafford Council in Incinerator Disgrace – click here
Only Peel Holdings in Favour of Barton Incinerator at Public Inquiry – click here