Permit Issued but Still No Planning Permission The Environment Agency (EA) have notified today, 22nd May, that they have issued a permit for the Javelin Park incinerator. The email notification sent can be read here.
As the notification says, this is separate from the process of obtaining planning permission. Both planning permission and an EA permit are required in order to build an incinerator. As we know, planning permission was unanimously refused on 21st March by the GCC Planning Committee. This still stands. However, there is a real threat that this could be overturned should an appeal go ahead...
We must not be complacent! Only this week, the Trafford Incinerator scheme in Manchester was granted planning permission by Secretary of State Eric Pickles after an Inquiry. This followed Trafford Council originally unanimously refusing planning permission for the proposal back in 2011. A sequence of events that could still yet easily be seen played out in Gloucestershire...
Disappointing but not surprising
The issuing of the permit by the EA is very disappointing. We would very much like the EA to show much greater challenge to proposed schemes that are known to increase pollutant levels massively beyond existing levels, that contribute significantly to climate change, and about which there are very real and valid health concerns.
However, unfortunately, it is also not surprising that the permit has been issued. The EA has rarely, if ever to our knowledge, refuse to issue permits for incinerators. It is an inevitable outcome. Don't be surprised if there are claims from some quarters in the next few days that the granting of the permit by the EA somehow means the incinerator proposal has been vindicated or is valid in some way. This is clearly nonsense given permits are always granted!
The fact remains that planning permission was refused unanimously for this flawed scheme for solid planning reasons. Indeed, GCC has since made strong moves to reassert this rejection of the scheme. On May 15th the newly formed GCC agreed to both defend its decision to refuse planning permission if challenged, and, to immediately set up a cross-party group to look into alternatives to the incinerator. Read more from SNJ here.
BBC Radio Gloucestershire and BBC Points West gave extensive coverage of the incinerator on 20th May 2013. The piece from the BBC Radio Glos Steve Kitchen show can be listened to using the player below.
It covers the divulging of the £3.3m spent to date on the incinerator project, despite it being unanimously thrown out. It also discusses the possible scenarios that could arise now in light of the UBB contract. In addition, here is the briefing we sent to GCC councillors in May briefing them on what options are available, and the related implications as they are currently understood. A very worthwhile read.
Election ResultThe Conservatives lost their majority in the 2013 GCC elections on 2nd May 2013 for the first time in 8 years. They are now running a Conservative minority administration (no coalition has been formed).
Read the BBC's report of the election results here and see the results for all the divisions on the GCC website here. We have analysed the results (right), cross-referencing them to with the stances we canvassed from election candidates prior to the election. This allows us to see how many of the councillors now elected previously stated opposition to the Javelin Park incinerator proposal, were in favour, or had a position that couldn't be ascertained (could be for, against or neither). Interestingly this shows that 22 of 53 councillors elected opposed the incinerator, with the stances of remaining councillors not known. Additionally, there were more councillors elected who were known to oppose the incinerator than councillors with an unknown stance in Cheltenham (6 vs 4), Gloucester (6 vs 4) and Stroud (7 vs 2). First Full Council Meeting, 15th May 2013
Mark Hawthorne is back as Leader of the Council, leading
a Conservative minority administration (Cabinet is all Conservatives). Stan
Waddington is no longer waste champion...
The Lib Dems and Greens tabled a motion on the incinerator. This was amended at the meeting by the Labour Group. Their amendments watered it down in some
areas (now no mention of MBT) but strengthened it in others - there will now be
a cross-party working group to develop a "Plan B" alternative to
incineration, for use should the incinerator project fail. The motion was
passed unanimously with cross-party support. However, terms of
reference for this group have not yet been agreed, and it is unclear what
powers or influence they will have.
We must not forget: we are still locked into the
contract and UBB might still appeal and secure planning permission...
Although the meeting was generally disappointing, it is a huge step forward when you consider where we were a couple of
We now have a great opportunity to take up cheaper, greener and smaller alternatives to the incinerator. With this in mind, Glosvain recently issued the following briefing document to the newly elected GCC councillors: GlosVAIN Briefing to GCC Councillors - May 2013
A copy of the UBB contract has now finally been obtained from Gloucestershire County Council. All but a small number of sections have been released, with a number of sections in what has been provided havng been redacted (i.e. blacked out) due to confidentiality. The contract, associated schedules, and the response to the Freedom of Information request that finally resulted in it being provided can be viewed or downloaded below.
Previous attempts to obtain the contract had always been refused but it has not been released following the GCC Elections.
Burner Could Still Be Built
It's a month since the Planning Meeting, where planning permission was refused unanimously for the incinerator. It was a stunning and unexpected result, and wouldn't have happened without the dedication and support of everyone associated with the campaign.
It would be great to be able to put our feet up now and simply take pride in having averted a financial and environmental disaster. Unfortunately, we don't have that luxury. Despite such an overwhelming verdict having been passed on the incinerator, incredibly, there is still the very real threat of it still going ahead. Yes - it could still be built!
We can't afford to let down our guard. The most likely outcomes we anticipate from this point on are as follows:
* UBB appeals. A Public Inquiry takes place with a Planning Inspector who then decides the outcome. GCC (and taxpayers) would be liable for costs on both sides, because they signed a contract with UBB to that effect. If the appeal is successful, the incinerator may end up being built.
* A New Plan: GCC could ask UBB to come up with a revised plan, which could look at other approaches for dealing with our waste. This could be a great opportunity to leave the incinerator idea behind and finally have a public debate about how best to deal with Gloucestershire’s waste. See here for some ideas of alternatives.
Whatever happens, the outcome of the County Council Elections on 2nd May will be an important factor in whether or not the incinerator is ultimately built. The Planning Committee voted to throw out the planning application last month, now we have the chance to vote...
2nd May - Gloucestershire County Council ElectionsThe make up of the County Council after the elections on 2nd May could be a key factor that contributes to whether the incinerator is built. We are therefore asking everyone to "Think Incinerator" before voting for one of their local candidates on 2nd May.
To help with this we have published a list of all the candidates and what their stance is on the incinerator. We have had responses from the majority of candidates and are continuing to update the list all the time. Click here to see the list. You can also link to all the main parties' manifestos via our home page..
Alternatives to the Incinerator
Presentation, 29th April
We now have a great opportunity to consider more sustainable and cheaper alternatives to incineration, and where better to start this public debate than Minchinhampton, where the “Waste Champion” Cllr Stan Waddington is presently the elected County Councillor.
Come to a talk about incineration and the alternatives:
On: Monday 29th April
At: Minchinhampton Market House, Bell Lane, Minchinhampton, Stroud, GL6 9BP
From: 7pm-9pmUrgent Help Needed!We need as many volunteers as possible to help us go door-to-door to distribute leaflets publicising the above Presentation. We will be distributing in the Minchinampton area. If you can spare a couple of hours to help with this before 2nd May, please get in touch asap at firstname.lastname@example.orgA Great Opportunity Let’s now seize the chance to make Gloucestershire forward-looking, by maximising our recycling and using cheaper, greener alternatives. In Oxfordshire, where the County Council has put in resources to boost recycling levels, recycling rates of 68% are being hit right now, compared to our 47% in Gloucestershire.
Separate collection and Anaerobic Digestion of food waste would create renewable energy and compost.
Further sorting of waste in an advanced MBT plant and treating the rest in a modern facility could power thousands of homes and put an end to landfill.
Come to the Talk and find out more! Hope to see you there.
P.S. We'd like to thank everyone for the flood of congratulatory messages that we received after the Planning Committee Meeting. Sorry that we couldn't respond to each one individually!
Planning permission REFUSED unanimously by 18 to 0 votes at meeting 21st March 2013
This battle is over, the war may not be.. We'll see in due course whether UBB will appeal.
Planning permission was refused unanimously by 18 votes
to 0 in a gripping 11 hour planning meeting on Thursday. An absolutely
incredible result!!!! We're absolutely jubilant. An amazing atmosphere in the
room once the result was announced and our Facebook and Twitter feeds were
buzzing like crazy. Thanks for all the brilliant congratulatory messages!
The battle is won....decisively....but we don't know
quite yet whether the war is over though... UBB look likely to appeal, which
means there would probably be a hearing or inquiry. However, whatever happens
it will take some time. One thing is sure we will continue to fight it all the
way and will do everything to prevent overturning of an overwhelmingly clear
democratic rejection of this massively flawed project!
Anyhow, many Glosvainers are having a brief break, so
rather than give you an account of proceedings from Thursday night, we'll keep
it brief and recommend instead that you take a look at the plentiful videos and
articles around the press that give good accounts. By way of a couple of
recommendations take a look at:
That's all for now. Thanks everyone - what a result!
Reaction from GlosVAIN Chair, Sue Oppenheimer on the day
Be There to Show
Their Vote Must be NO!It's crucial that we follow
through on the success of the Javelin Park demo on 14th Mar. We must now send
home the message of rejection of the incinerator in favour of better
alternatives to the decision makers at the Planning Committee
The meeting starts at 10 a.m. with tickets
allocated first come first served from 8:30 by the Council for admission into
the main room. However, you don't have to come from the start. Some people will
come for the morning, some the afternoon, some all day. Come when you
can and for as long as you can. It will all help ensure that there is
as big a show of opposition as possible. We can't afford for there to be empty
seats on show while the councillors deliberate and make their
Here is the key information you
Location: Suite 1873,
Gloucester Rugby Club (Kingsholm Stadium), Gloucester, GL1 3AX (MAP)
Duration: Unknown, but could
go on to early evening. Decision is made at the
Seating: There are 200 seats in the meeting room
for members of the public. However there will also be an overflow room where proceedings will be shown live on a screen (now video AND audio). Hence, anyone attending will be able to follow the meeting live.How Do I Get There?: See the MAP.
Bring a car full. The venue is walkable from Gloucester train and bus stations
(shown on map). If you need help getting there, fill out your details here and
we will try and help get you transport. Helping Others Get
There:If you could give a lift to others wanting to get there
please email us at email@example.com with your location, number of spare seats,
telephone number and how long you intend to stay for..Can I speak at the meeting? You
can request to do so, but few will get the opportunity (see guidance
below)Can I ask questions? No, but you can
submit in advance (see guidance below)Where can I find out
more? Read the GCC
The DEMO on 14th March was a great success! It really
showed the councillors who will make the decision on the incinerator that there
is great opposition and anger concerning the plans. The blimp flying at 70
metres could not be ignored - a stark demonstration of the absurdity of planning
to build such a vast industrial structure on the rural edge of the Cotswolds
AONB..First and foremost, we want to give a huge thanks
to YOU for turning out in great numbers and really sending the
message. We know not everyone could make it due to other commitments so we want
to thank everyone who was with us in spirit also!You can see some superb
videos and photos from the demo on our website here.
Happens if Planning Permission is Given?You
will no doubt be aware that the report that has been prepared by GCC for
consideration by the decision makers on 21st Mar recommends approval of the
scheme. This comes as no surprise, given the debacle over the consultants GCC
brought in to complete production of the report. Although it's not certain (why
we need you there!) it is quite likely that planing permission will be granted
by the councillors at the meeting on Thursday.Don't
Panic though, we've prepared a graphic that shows that this wouldn't be
the end of the road by a long stretch potentially. Below shows the potential
outcomes. We're currently only coming up to the first orange diamond. Click to
enlarge.Despite what the Council says there is clearly
political pressure at play in making the decision on the incinerator with the
ruling Conservatives pushing at all cost to get the scheme approved. 12 of the
19 committee members are Conservative. See below for details should you wish to
write to Planning Committee members ahead of the meeting. Conservatives have a
"C after their name."CS" means Stroud based Conservative (Stroud says
NO). Please keep it pleasant. Tell them what a great
responsibility it is. Give them credit for being able to make the right
decision. Briefly tell them how important it is to you that they say
No.Planning Committee members (get their contact details here) a..
Cllr Ron Allen C b.. Cllr Dennis Andrewartha c.. Cllr Basil Booth
CS d.. Cllr John Cordwell e.. Cllr Terry Hale C f.. Cllr Sarah
Lunnon g.. Cllr Graham Morgan h.. Cllr Christopher Pallet i.. Cllr
Shaun Parsons C j.. Cllr Martin Quaile (Chair) C k.. Cllr Gordon Shurmer
C l.. Cllr Vernon Smith C m.. Cllr Klara Sudbury n.. Cllr Brian
Maurice Thornton C o.. Cllr Brian Tipper CS p.. Cllr Pamela Tracey
C q.. Cllr Robert Vines C r.. Cllr Simon Wheeler s.. Cllr Mike
Thanks for your ongoing support - See You at the
Report Recommends ApprovalYou probably have read that Gloucestershire County Council Planning Department's report produced ahead of the Planning Committee meeting scheduled for 21st March recommends granting approval for the incinerator. The report was released on Mon 11th Mar. Absolutely no surprises there, particularly following the BPP consultants debacle..Read the SNJ article here for the context and a reminder of how this report was arrived at.
Don't Panic....Decision Still To Be Made!The report may recommend approval, as expected, however it is ultimately the councillors that make up the Planning Committee who will will decide at the decision meeting on 21st March. That's why it's crucial to try and influence them at the DEMONSTRATION planned for 14th March and at the meeting itself on 21st. Councillors will be present at both, and need to see the strength of opposition! Please come to the demo and planning meeting to bring the influence YOU can still have on this process and the Planning Committee councillors! Read our essential briefing here.
This isn't a time to panic! We are far from the end of the road, in fact, we are really only just starting out on what could be a long journey. The decision on 21st could go either way and, even after it is made, it could be called in by the Secretary of State. What's more, there is also the possibility of "Judicial Review", which would see legal action being taken to challenge the decision making process.
Take a look at the graphic we've compiled below (click to enlarge). This helps clarify the expected possible outcomes for the Javelin Park Incinerator. The key point to note is that, despite the planners' report recommending approval, we're not even at the first orange diamond on the graphic yet...
Expect a long haul and a drawn out fight that will go to the bitter end!
Other Recent News* The Citizen article here covering the planners' report, also reminds us of how this process is taking place in Gloucestershire, absurdly, at a time when actually the UK might not need any more incinerators!
* More of the absurd context of the future we could be heading towards: Stroud News & Journal on how a confidential report shows that the majority of waste that would be burnt in the incinerator would be recyclable, compostable or reusable! An environmental disaster in the making. Is this how we want to go forward in Gloucestershire in the 21st century!?
* The Incineration controversy is getting national profile now, being featured in two two national newspapers last weekend...This is a sign of a growing realisation that we have a national controversy on our hands here with so many local authorities in the UK pushing for outdated incineration.
* Independent article: "UK incinerator plans? They're just rubbish" - Useful reminder that however advanced the filters, they do not capture all the harmful micro particles..
Now or Never...
Time To Act!
We may be just over two weeks away from approval being given for the huge waste incinerator in the Gloucestershire countryside for 25 years.
We are calling on everyone to now take part in some essential actions that could have a real impact on the outcome.
You have two opportunities to make a real difference by showing the level of opposition to the Planning Committee councillors. These councillors come from all over Gloucestershire and will not necessarily all be aware of the strength of feeling against the proposals. It's vital that they understand this whilst they deliberate and make their decision.
1 ) The Javelin Park DEMO, 14 Mar, 11am - this is timed for when the councillors will be visiting the Javelin Park site. We need a huge display of opposition at the DEMO. A poor turn out by us will give the impression of there being little opposition.
ACTION: Please come to the demo. It should only last about an hour: an hour on one day to help make a difference for 25 years. If unable to get the day off work, take an early lunch and give your support.
2) Planning Committee Meeting, 21 Mar - this starts at 10 am. Again, it is vital to fill the room because empty seats could show lack of opposition to the incinerator.
ACTION: Please come to the planning meeting for as much or little time as you can spare.
Please read on below for further important details about the DEMO and the Planning Meeting.
Start Time: 11a.m.
Where: Javelin Park- Meet at Blooms Garden Centre, Jnct 12 M5 (MAP)
What to Bring: 1) a Banner (see below for some ideas) 2) Anything with a visual impact e.g. gas mask, costume, prop
What to Do: Go with the crowds chants and songs, have fun. Please be orderly and polite.
Before You Come Please:
- Get 5-10 friends/neighbours to come also.
- Email your email networks.
- Put up this poster.
- Write a letter to the paper about the Demo
Be creative, make a banner. If you're stuck for ideas, here are a few slogans.
GCC – do your sums
Check Your Figures
MBT Much Cheaper
AD Not Hades
Recycle - Don't Burn
25 Years of Madness
NO to Toxic Waste
Hell on Earth
George Osbourne said NO!
Mr. Pickles Likes MBT!
Neil Carmichael Objects
4000 People Say NO
Stroud DC Says No
Cheltenham BC Says No
You Vote - So Do We..
YES 21st Mar = NO 2nd May!
MBT not MBI
Household waste + incineration = toxic waste
Incineration + not enough waste = money to burn
Money To Burn
Incineration turns safe waste toxic
Javelin Park : The money burner
NB. There are also some existing posters downloadable from here
Planning Committee Meeting
Location: Suite 1873, Gloucester Rugby Club (Kingsholm Stadium), Gloucester, GL1 3AX (MAP).
Meeting Start Time: 10a.m
Duration: Unknown, but could go on to early evening. Decision is made at the end.
Seating: There are 200 seats in the meeting room for members of the public. There will be an overflow room with video but no audio!
When Shall I Come?: Public access is from 8:30a.m. and tickets will be issued "first come, first served". However, you don't have to come from the start. Some people will come for the morning, some the afternoon, some all day. Come when you can and for as long as you can. It all helps.
How Do I Get There?: See the MAP. Bring a car full. The venue is walkable from Gloucester train and bus stations (shown on map). If you need help getting there, fill out your details here and we will try and help get you transport.
Is GlosVAIN providing coaches? There isn't enough demand at present. If you've said you wish to come by coach we will contact you to confirm whether you can come by bus/train or whether we can help get you a lift there.
Can I speak at the meeting? You can request to do so, but few will get the opportunity (see guidance below)
Can I ask questions? No, but you can submit in advance (see guidance below)
For further details, read the GCC guidance here
On 26th Feb 2013, Cheltenham Borough Council followed Stroud District Council''s lead and wrote to Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, requesting that the incinerator planning application be "called in" and taken out of the hands of the County Council. Supporting Stroud's reasoning for requesting "Call In" in December 2012, Cheltenham cited in particular the reasons of
You can read both Stroud and Cheltenham's letters below.
- Effects beyond the locality e.g. the overcapacity of incinerators in the region
- Substantial Regional Controversy