Last week saw the first week of a two week "Examination in Public" of Gloucestershire County Council's "Waste Core Strategy" (WCS). The WCS sets out the framework and strategy for dealing with waste in the County, and this examination process sees an independent planning inspector assess whether or not the document is sound.
Last week, GlosVAIN members attended three gruelling "Hearing" sessions. We, along with other groups who are trying to get changes to the WCS made some progress in convincing the Planning Inspector that the Council's predictions on waste figures are unreliable and probably too high. High figures could lead to overcapacity and would affect the business case for the proposed incinerator. The Council are claiming that £150m can be saved over 25 years, but this is based on its estimates of how much waste, left over after recycling, would have to go to landfill. However, these estimates are probably as much as 50,000 tonnes per annum too high.
GlosVAIN had less success in getting better protection in the plan for sites such as the Cotswold Beeches, an important National Nature Reserve near Cranham, which would be affected by incinerator emissions. Decisions on the environmental impact have been left to the planning application process, rather than being reflected in guidance in the Waste Core Strategy.
The Hearing sessions continue into this week with GlosVAIN attending one on Tue 7th Feb where the usage of Javelin Park in Haresfield will be debated - Javelin Park being where Gloucestershire County Council wish to have an incinerator built.