|Source: 'Wembley Matters'|
Angie Bray, Conservative MP for Ealing Central and Acton, has spoken out against the proposed 'Harlesden/Acton Waste Incinerator' LINK
Following the deferral of the item which was due to be discussed in about an hour at Ealing Planning Committee she publishes the speech she had prepared to deliver:
"I have been keeping a concerned eye on some of the pollution issues affecting the different parts of Acton for some time. These include the pollution generated by the Horn Lane site, the problems emanating from the Powerday site and the natural concerns that local residents have around the fact that five sites have been identified for waste disposal around Park Royal. Clean Power's application comes on top of all of this.
"My first concern was immediately created at the meeting I had with Clean Power in Parliament, when they came to brief me on their proposals. I asked whether their application was to run one of the five waste sites whose location had been identified by the Council around Park Royal, as part of the Mayor's London Waste Plan. Imagine my surprise when they clearly had no idea what I was talking about. Later it transpired that they were actually proposing to establish potentially a sixth waste site in this corner of my constituency. Obviously, no one expects that the five sites identified by the Council will all be used, but this addition to those that may be would still add substantially to the problems that would be faced by the community - not least: pollution, odours, transport congestion and noise.
"My next concern, following on from what I've just said, is that the residents' community in North Acton, who are living alongside Powerday, would, were this application to succeed, find themselves literally wedged between two major waste disposal sites. I don't think any of us would disagree that Powerday is the source of continual problems for local residents, however much the management say otherwise and indeed work to ameliorate the odours and general pollution. There have been times in particularly hot weather where residents are unable to open their windows - such is the stink caused by the site. And then of course there are rats and do I need I go on...
"So is it reasonable to expect residents to have to live with yet another waste disposal site - anaerobic digestive or otherwise - just to the other side of them?
"Obviously too there will be the nature of the waste traffic. Residents have had to get used to the traffic generated by Powerday's and the Freightliner site's existing operations, but is the Council really going to expect them now to tolerate even more waste lorry traffic that will inevitably arrive as a result of the operations by Clean Power? How much more heavy traffic is this part of North Acton able to sustain without an intolerable impact on the lives of the local residents?
"What has been striking to many of us, which I list as my third concern, is the lack of evidence that Clean Power is able to produce to demonstrate how well their operations work on other sites. Clearly, if we had been able to see happy residents close by to a Clean Power site, then that might have helped to allay fears. But when I go on their website, all I see is a list of would-be sites, which they hope to develop in the future. Surely the Council will require better evidence than that?
"My fifth and final question is about the choice of the site itself. As I understand it, this site is currently safeguarded for HS2. Now I recognise that there has been much debate about HS2 - and there may have been some who thought that the cross-party support for the project was breaking down - however, last week in Parliament all parties lined up with very few dissenting members, to support the HS2 project going forward. It strikes me that this site will remain HS2's as the project is unrolled.
"So why is Ealing Council even taking time to consider this proposal when we all know that the safeguarding by HS2 remains firmly in place, as does the project itself? As things stand, there is no site for Clean Power to develop, so can we just recognise reality and put a stop to any further blight of this kind on local residents? I notice Brent is focusing very hard on the pollution aspects of this proposal, and both Brent and Ealing pollution experts are calling for rejection of the plan. I would like to add my voice to theirs.”