With regards to the PREL planning application at Sutton Bridge. This application was not for an incinerator. An incinerator has only one purpose, to burn waste material. The Sutton Bridge installation will burn wood that has not been used for any other purpose. Wood is being burnt in order to produce electricity, not to dispose of it.
At the first meeting, I did not suggest that residents should have made clear that they did not want an incinerator, so no previous crystal ball gazing was required. My comments related to objections regarding increased traffic. I suggested that if residents had concerns about the Wingland site generating more traffic, these should have been raised when the site was allocated for employment use, some 10 years ago.
Some committee members suggested that they did not understand every aspect of the background information provided. I don’t feel that this undermined their ability to determine the application. Much of this information dealt with matters that were outside of the immediate planning issues and was therefore not vital to the reaching of a sound decision.
Some parties have suggested that SHDC will gain financially from this application. The district council does not own any land, or have any other financial interest in the Wingland site.
I’m mystified by the accusation that the deferment was a ruse. A discounted electricity supply, for residents, mentioned at public meetings, was referred to in lobbying letters and emails I received. Details were not provided to the committee at the first meeting. I felt it was therefore prudent to ensure that the details of this promise were clearly understood and even more importantly, the promise delivered.
Finally, the Environment Agency will be responsible for issuing the operating licence for this wood burning power station and air quality monitoring. Anybody with concerns regarding emissions from this process, should ensure that these concerns are submitted to the EA.
Councillor Roger Gambba-Jones
Chairman, Planning Committee
South Holland District Council