Gloucestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Javelin Park - a blot in the making

Monday, 26 January 2015 00:00

26 January 2015

CPRE was profoundly disappointed to learn that Eric Pickles had decided to allow the Javelin Park incinerator appeal. But, in a last minute attempt to stop this poorly conceived development, we encourage everyone to sign the e-petition demanding that the County Council terminate the contract with UBB in order to explore less environmentally intrusive options.

The Secretary of State based his decision on the Inspector’s report which left little room for manoeuvre:  the Inspector had basically rejected all the arguments put forward against the incinerator.

By general  consent , the key issue was whether the incinerator would have an unacceptable impact on the local landscape and the Cotswolds AONB and whether the effects could be mitigated adequately. On this issue we think the Inspector got it fundamentally wrong.
His starting point was that the Waste Core Strategy (WCS) had already determined that Javelin Park was a suitable site for a major building of the proposed height and mass. Arguments that it was not were therefore irrelevant. The only issue he saw was the extent to which the building would have an adverse visual effect and whether the developer, Urbaser Balfour Beattie (UBB) had done all they could to mitigate these effects.   

The Inspector recognised that from some viewing points the impact would be significant but argued that the incinerator would sit in the urban fringe and that the site would otherwise be developed for warehousing and under these circumstances the impact would be less severe.  Further,   the mitigating measures UBB had introduced, in particular breaking up the building to stop it being too rectangular, would be sufficient.

The fact that the facility was likely to be too large given how waste generation had declined was not relevant:  the numbers in the WCS were sacrosanct and justified the facility. In any event, he felt it would be quite acceptable to import waste from other counties if needed.
Overall, this is a bad decision in CPRE’s view.  However, most of the decisive issues are ones of opinion and interpretation not law. Furthermore, the way the appeal was handled was exemplary and everyone had a chance to air their views.    Accordingly, we cannot see grounds for claiming that there were crucial legal misrepresentations or that the process was flawed and therefore that the decision should be subject to Judicial Review.  

But, in a last minute attempt to stop this poorly conceived development, we encourage everyone to sign the e-petition demanding that the County Council terminate the contract with UBB in order to explore less environmentally intrusive options:

 

http://glostext.gloucestershire.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?Id=33&TPID=34109697&

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