The public hearing on Gloucestershire County Council's Waste Core Strategy came to an end last week. Here is an update following its closure and some reflections.
The Council have now been sent away to make some "main modifications" to the document. In essence, certain parts of the strategy as currently defined mean that it is not "sound" and so cannot be adopted. Therefore the Council must now rework certain parts of it.
There will then be a further meeting on March 12th. Here the inspector will consider the modifications made by the Council. If he agrees to those that are made the WCS will be approved but the Council will need to consult on it again. Depending on the outcome of the consultation it is possible that there could be a further WCS hearing, for example if there are particular issues that arise from the consultation.
Fundamentally, and probably somewhat suprisingly for most, it should be noted that the Waste Core Strategy that has just been examined will actually possibly NOT be the waste framework that GCC's planning application for the incinerator will be considered against. It could in fact be the previous document, the "Waste Local Plan" that will be of relevance, as this is what was/is in force at the time the planning application was made. However, it stands to reason that we can expect some serious debates with regard to the incinerator planning applicaiton where the old Waste Local Plan and the (not yet approved) Waste Core Strategy say different things...
GlosVAIN learnt a lot of valuable information by attending the WCS hearing sessions. It was hard work...but the information gained will be useful to employ as the campaign continues now into the critical stage of opposing the planning application. Let's not forget, despite what may be portrayed this is NOT a done deal. Planning approval is required if the incinerator is to go ahead and we will be objecting to this being given every step of the way.