MMAG attended a meeting of the Community Liaison Panel (CLP) on Monday night, July 25th. The CLP was set up by Covanta to engage with local councils & community groups several years ago & had been in abeyance since 2013. So the meeting was very much resetting the clock and introducing ourselves to the new faces from Covanta & Veolia.
The main points covered were;
The shelf life of the Consent Order – the statutory permission to build the plant is 5 years from 2013 – so work has to begin by end of 2018.
The world has changed since 2013 with:
- hundreds more residents unaware they were moving into a neighbourhood destined to have a ‘monster’ incinerator next door
- a large school/college has been built on Green Lanes which was an empty office space when the original consent was granted – obvious concerns about the school being subjected to diesel fumes being belched out from gigantic lorries waiting at the Stewartby level crossing
- major developments contemplated to the rail infrastructure from East West Rail with Network Rail proposing to replace the Stewartby level crossing with a bridge which would take 9 months to build & involved repositioning the entrance to the Covanta site.
Residents will also have noticed that despite the new roundabout at the Moreteyne Farm estate lorries continue to use the old A421 disregarding the 7.5 tonne limit. Will Covanta lorries do likewise ?
Going forward Veolia will provide the waste and Covanta will burn it and in a change of plan will also recover the metals from the ash. However the waste will be no longer predominately domestic but commercial/industrial waste from ‘anywhere’ it’s economical to transport from.
The next CLP meeting is set for October 17th at the Forest Centre and we will keep posting updates.
Covanta plan to submit the application for an Environment Agency Permit in September on which the public can comment