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Aylesbury Vale Incinerator U-Turn Being Looked at Today

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6:08am 14th December 2010
(Updated 7:47am 14th December 2010)

The fight starts today against controversial plans to build a 300 thousand tonne incinerator between Aylesbury and Buckingham.

Last year Bucks County Council voted to send our waste to a site in Bedfordshire but the process had to start again after an undisclosed legal issue with the site.

New bids were entered and last month Bucks County Council voted to support the building of an incinerator at the site near Calvert in Buckinghamshire rather than the site in Bedfordshire.

Today a committee will decide if they should look in more detail at the reasons for the apparent U-turn.

Below are the reasons councillor John Cartwright (Grendon Underwood) believes the decision should be called in.

1. That the procurement decision in favour of WRG Ltd is illegal in that it should only have been decided with reference to the saved Waste and Mineral Core Strategy and not with reference to the emerging plan.

2. That Bucks County Council has failed properly to quantify and take into consideration in its decision (1) the financial losses which will be inflicted on the Vale by reason of this procurement decision which would include but not be limited to job losses especially within the tourism industry, agriculture and rural economy and (2) the expected planning blight on housing within the Vale and house price drops forecasted at 25-30% of value

3. That Bucks County Council has failed properly to take into consideration the strong and united opposition to the incinerator proposed by WRG Ltd at Lower Greatmoor Farm as evidenced by 26,000 saying no through paper and web-based petitions; 23 local parish and Town councils passing resolutions against this incinerator.

4. That Bucks County Council has failed to take into consideration the admitted likelihood that WRG Ltd will sell any heat and power generated from the incinerator to HS2 and thereby increase the likelihood of HS2 being built on preferred option 3 route, contrary to its avowed policy to resist HS2 on behalf of the ratepayers of Bucks

5. That Bucks County Council has totally failed in its obligations to its ratepayers to be transparent about financial issues relating to the proposed bid and has wrongly taken this decision behind closed doors thereby failing to allow appropriate representation
on financial implications.

6. Further, that Bucks County Council has failed to take into consideration and make proper allowance and/or provision for the long term financial implications and cost to local ratepayers of dealing with some 300,000 tonnes of toxic hazardous waste for its lifetime following the termination of an anticipated 30 year contract with WRG Ltd.

7. Further that Bucks County Council and/or WRG Ltd has failed to disclose that AE & E, the Austrian company on whose technology WRG’s building bid is based, went into administration on 26th November 2010, which will thus render the capacity of WRG Ltd to complete the contract null and void.

8. That Bucks County Council has failed to revisit the appropriateness of this incineration technology, especially given that its decision pro-incineration was made nearly four years ago, thereby ignoring more appropriate and safer technologies including MBT (for which a 50k tonne planning permission has been in the interim granted at Westcott)

9. That Bucks County Council has made this decision on erroneous figures for the production of waste in the county. BCC wrongly stated that the county recycles 44% of waste on 29th November 2010 when in fact overall it recycles only 37% as evidenced by the latest DEFRA figures – see attached. AVDC recycles a mere 22% as against a national average of 40%. The Council should put more effort into achieving proper recycling rates of 65% UPWARDS instead of focussing on incineration.

10. Overall that Bucks County Council has failed to take into consideration the appalling environmental impact on a cherished part of the Bernwood Forest including but not limited to the damage to protected species and the inappropriate use of this rural landscape.

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