BBC South Today is leading its news bulletins today with concerns over possible bias by Hampshire County Council in determining the controversial planning application by Veolia, the Council's waste contractor, to build a commercial and industrial incinerator in the rural Wey Valley near Alton.
Local campaigners have uncovered what they say is worrying evidence that Hampshire County Council’s planning department could be biased towards Veolia and could also be trying to downplay the objections it has received from other council departments.
Information obtained following Freedom of Information requests by the No Wey Incinerator campaign group has revealed that the council did not make public a very strong objection raised by its own landscape team in February this year. It has also been disclosed that in August last year the planning department urged another department to downgrade an objection.
After this issue became headline news today, HCC published the missing Landscape objection from February, along with a statement from HCC Deputy Leader Cllr Rob Humby that this was "purely an administrative oversight that led to a short delay in making the officer's initial comments public". That"short delay" being nine months. The Council has not responded to the other concerns regarding possible downplaying of objections from other departments.
To watch the full news article, click on the YouTube video above, and you can read here a BBC News website article based on the TV segment.
The objection from the HCC Landscape Department can be found here [PDF].
HCC is accepting public representations on the planning application until 29th November 2021, and NWI is encouraging supporters to OBJECT AGAIN to Veolia's plans. You can also sign up to our mailing list or follow us on Facebook to be kept informed of latest developments.