Frequently Asked Questions

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Find out more about our campaign in this FAQ:

  1. About No Wey Incinerator Action Group (NWIAG)

  2. Purpose of the NWIAG

  3. Opposition to the Veolia proposed commercial incinerator

  4. Alternatives to incineration

  5. How to oppose the proposed incinerator in the Wey Valley

About No Wey Incinerator Action Group (NWIAG)

Q: Who are the NWIAG?

  • On 12th March 2020, Froyle, Binsted and Bentley Parish Councils organised a community meeting to discuss the imminent planning application from Veolia to demolish the current domestic waste recycling facility on the A31 and to replace it with an industrial waste incinerator. 

  • Over 130 people attended the meeting and 85 people registered their immediate support for an action group to be formed to oppose the application.

  • The No Wey Incinerator Action Group was formed by local residents, businesses and farmers, following the meeting, with a core belief that the beautiful Wey Valley is the wrong location to build a commercial incinerator.

  • The Action Group currently has 15 core members from local villages. We are organized as three teams, coordinated by a Steering Group led by Philip Roberts:

    • Planning - Led by Ian Deans. 

    • Finance/Fundraising - Led by Charles Zorab.

    • Communications - Led by Mark Weldon.

  • Hundreds of people have now registered their support for the group, and have contributed tens of thousands of pounds to our funds. Membership continues to rise.

  • During Hampshire County Council's public consultation period for the planning application, with the funds raised from the community, we employed professional consultants to examine Veolia's application - including experts in planning, air quality and carbon emissions, landscape and visual impact, hydrogeology, historic environment and ecology. The resulting reports identified serious deficiencies in Veolia's application, and were submitted as a public representation to Hampshire County Council during the consultation period.

  • The No Wey Incinerator expert report can be found here (PDF).

Q: How can I contact you, or find out more?

Purpose of the NWIAG

Q: What is the NWIAG objective and how is it achieving this?

  • To persuade Hampshire County Council to reject any application to build an incinerator at the current Veolia recycling site.

  • To work on behalf of concerned local residents and businesses to oppose Veolia’s plans to replace our local household recycling facility with a large-scale industrial incinerator for burning non-recyclable commercial waste. 

  • Our primary aim is to ensure that there is expert planning advice upon which to base formal objections during the statutory planning process. The No Wey Incinerator expert report can be found here (PDF), this was submitted as a representation to HCC as part of the public consultation on Veolia's planning application.

  • In order to pay for this specialist advice, the NWIAG has raised donated funds - thank you to everyone who contributed.

  • We encouraged as many people as we could to respond with objection comments to the planning application during Hampshire County Council's public consultation period - and more than a thousand objections were submitted.

  • We raised awareness and support for our objections amongst the wider community, MPs and other concerned bodies, with a campaign of information and communication. This resulted in official objections from both Damian Hinds MP, the Member of Parliament for East Hampshire, and Jeremy Hunt MP, the Member of Parliament for neighbouring South West Surrey.
     

Q: I want to help, what can I do?

Opposition to the Veolia proposed commercial incinerator

Q: Why are you opposing Veolia’s planning application for a commercial incinerator near Alton?

  • We believe the Wey Valley is the wrong place for a large-scale commercial incinerator.

  • Our objections are based on material planning considerations as required by Hampshire County Council.

  • Our current views are that this is the wrong location for an incinerator because of the: 

    • Visual Impact: The industrial looking incinerator building will be 40m tall, the height of a 13 storey grey block of flats, in an isolated rural location, with sparse topographical screening from surrounding views. The 2 chimneys will be 80m high (about the height of Big Ben), dominating the surrounding hills, and visible from over 10km away in places.

    • Proximity to the South Downs National Park (SDNP): The site is less than a mile from the SDNP boundary and its presence and operation will have a negative noise, climate and ecology influence on the area of outstanding beauty and all who enjoy recreation and work in it.

    • Traffic: The facility will generate significant additional traffic to its current 128 HGV movements per day and increase local pollution to burn 330,000 tonnes of residual commercial and industrial waste brought in from across Hampshire and other locations 24 hours per day, 362 days of the year. 

    • Inefficient dirty energy output: Incinerator plants are a poor way to dispose of waste (burning mostly plastic that create carbon emissions and toxic gases) and an inefficient way to generate electricity, (10% less efficient than a coal fired power station). In addition, there are no identified users for the additional waste heat which may be generated, so it is of no local benefit to the surrounding business and residential communities.
       

Q: Why haven't you started a petition?

  • We have discussed and considered this a number of times and have taken the advice of our planning consultants on the merits of starting a petition. 

  • In planning process terms, the best way to stop an incinerator is a high number of valid objections lodged with Hampshire County Council (HCC). We focussed our efforts on making the best information available, and in making it easy for people to object on valid grounds.

  • Even if several thousand people sign a petition, the signatures don't count as a valid objection to a planning related matter. See the HCC website which says: 'Some issues will not be appropriate for a petition. In order to avoid duplication, the policy areas of planning and licensing are excluded, as are other matters where there is a statutory right to a review or appeal (except where there is an alleged failure of the County Council in respect of one of its functions). ' 

  • A petition against a planning issue might be a good way of signalling interest to local politicians, but we believe that we are already doing that by making politicians and other stakeholders aware of our campaign and the number of people registering their views and opposition to the application.

Q: Aren’t you just a bunch of "nimbys"?

  • Primarily we believe a rural setting on the border of the UK’s newest of 15 National Parks and one of the only 16 worldwide International Dark Sky Reserves in the world is the wrong place to build an incinerator.

  • There are more suitable, sustainable locations that could be considered – where the scale of the proposed building would have less visual impact at day and night; where the plant site is close to sources of waste, requiring less road transport; and where there is a use for the additional heat and the right long-term infrastructure and investment to carry this via a district heat network. 

  • We are concerned for our local environment and wellbeing, as well as the negative impact on local business, loss of earnings and reduced opportunity for residential building growth.

  • Everyone has the right to object to a planning application they disagree with, and that is exactly what we are doing. We helped as many people as possible to make a valid objection during Hampshire County Council's public consultation period on the planning application, which ran from 3rd July to 14th August 2020.

  • We campaigned to raise funds to pay for specialist consultants to work on our behalf, in interpreting the detail of the complex planning application and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and this was submitted as a detailed public representation during the planning consultation period. The No Wey Incinerator assessment of the planning application is available here (PDF).

 

Q: Why aren’t you focusing on the pollution/CO2/toxins the incinerator will produce?

  • There are already a number of other campaigns against wider environmental issues and we need to make sure we maintain our focus on objecting to the planning application relevant to Alton, using the specific legal objections that we are advised are the most effective.

  • We are highlighting the specific character of the local area likely to be affected by the traffic, visual impacts, noise, light emissions, odours, potential for vermin infestations, changes to the local ecology and the plume: local residents, schools (including Treloars), businesses and those using the area for recreational purposes. 

Q: I want to object to the principle of incineration and/or to the potential adverse effects on me/my family/my business from the toxic output, how should I do that?

Alternatives to incineration

Q: Why do people oppose incineration?

Q: What does Hampshire need instead of building (yet) another incinerator?

  • Hampshire already has four incinerators. We believe Hampshire needs to focus on improving recycling – HCC is a long way behind other councils and have fallen behind on their own targets.

    • Hampshire council’s waste management plan (set in 2013 and reviewed 2018 - PDF) set an expectation of achieving at least 60% recycling and 95% diversion from landfill by 2020

    • Currently Hampshire’s recycling rate is 41.3% - 197th in DEFRA’s 345 Local Authority league table 2018/19

    • Hampshire’s household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting is 18.7% below its 2020 target. 

  • Hampshire’s Waste and Mineral Plan (HWMP - PDF) adopted in October 2013, and reviewed in 2018, has not identified the need to plan for major large-scale incinerator facilities in any specific locations due to the existing investment in large-scale facilities over recent years in the county. A better use of existing sites to use their spare capacity will justify the lack of need for another incinerator.

  • Hampshire previously considered that the Alton site was not suitable for building an incinerator with a stack (PDF, p139​), even if additional land had been purchased to increase the size of the site, (which it hasn’t) so why would they approve one now for a smaller site than they originally assessed?

How to oppose the incinerator in the Wey Valley

Q: Where can I find the planning application?

  • The application is on Hampshire County Council's website, here, reference 33619/007. It consists of over 150 documents and 2,200+ pages.

Q: How can I help to stop the A31 Alton incinerator being built?

  • By submitting a personal valid objection during the Hampshire County Council (HCC) planning application public consultation process. This public consultation ran until 14th August 2020. Objections can be submitted after this date, and may be considered by Hampshire County Council. Find out more here.

Q: What happens now the public consultation has closed?

Q: When will the planning application be decided?

Q: How can I follow the progress of the planning application?

 

Any more questions? e-mail info@noweyincinerator.com!
 

 
 
 
 
 

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