Frequently Asked Questions

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 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.

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 the community has access to expert planning advice upon which to base their formal objection during the statutory planning process. In order to pay for this specialist advice, the NWIAG is raising donated funds.

  • We will encourage as many people to respond with objection comments to the planning application as we possibly can. See here for how to do this.

  • We will raise awareness and support for our objection amongst the wider community, MPs and other concerned bodies, with a campaign of information and communication.
     

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 objection will be based on material planning considerations as required by Hampshire County Council (PDF)

  • 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.

    • Proximity to the South Downs National Park (SDNP): The site is 1km 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 consultant on the merits of starting a petition. 

  • In planning process terms, we believe the best way to stop an incinerator being built is for there to be a high number of valid objections lodged with Hampshire County Council (HCC). We are focusing our efforts on making the best information from experts available and in making it easy 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 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 the generated power 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 plan to do. Our aim is to help as many people as possible to make a valid objection. 

  • We have campaigned to raise funds to pay for specialist consultants to work on our behalf in interpreting the detail of what we expect to be a very large and complex planning application and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

 

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 will be the most effective.

  • We will highlight 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?

  • 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 has not identified the need to plan for major large-scale built incinerator facilities in any specific locations due to  the existing investment in large-scale facilities over recent years in this county . A better use of existing sites to use their spare capacity will justify the lack of need for another incinerator.

  • Hampshire previously considered the Alton site wasn’t 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: 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 process.

Q: How do I object to the planning application?

  • By email, online at the HCC web site or by post, once the planning application is available.

  • We will provide a downloadable sample form on our No Wey Incinerator web site with outline text based on advice from the specialist consultants we have engaged on this case which you can personalise and send to HCC.

  • We will also provide a link to the planning application on the HCC web site in case you wish to object directly. Please send us a copy of your objection so that we can collect statistics on the number of objections.

  • You will also be able to write to HCC to register your objection.

  • More details on how to object will be published on this web site when the planning application is available. You cannot object prior to the application being published by HCC.

Q: When will the planning application arrive and how will I know?

  • The application has been submitted and is being validated by Hampshire County Council.

  • Our web site will be updated once the application is available.

  • We will email all our web site and Facebook registrants with details as soon as the application is publicly available. Sign up to our mailing list to stay informed.

  • Our Facebook page will also be updated accordingly and a notification sent to its members.

 

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

 
 
 
 
 

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We would love to get your support. Please sign up to receive updates from the campaign, and news on how you can help fight to save the Wey Valley.

Donate

Your donation will help us get the best professional advice to fight the application, in vital areas such as the impact on the landscape, wildlife, ecology, and air quality. It will also help us to fund campaign materials.

Thanks to all your generous donations we have exceeded our initial target of £40,000!

Spread The Word

When the formal application is submitted by Veolia, we need people to submit objections to the planning authority. In the meantime, please spread the word – join our group on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and YouTube.

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No Wey Incinerator

We are a campaign group of local residents, businesses and farmers who want to protect our beautiful Wey Valley and our local ecology.

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