PROPOSED - image from Veolia planning application
The current Veolia recycling facility is at its highest only 15m tall.
Veolia's proposed incinerator building will be more than twice as high at 40m - this is the same height as an electricity pylon - and will be more than 150m long.
The two chimney stacks will be at least 80m high, almost the size of Big Ben. The plume from the chimneys will stretch even higher.
Veolia's own Environmental Impact Assessment shows that the building and chimneys will be visible from several miles away, and will have a significant adverse visual impact on a majority of the viewpoints analysed, including 7 within the National Park.
The plant will also be visible from a number of listed buildings and from conservation areas in Holybourne and Upper Froyle, including the Grade II* listed Bonhams Farmhouse. Heritage England expressed serious concern at this impact, stating that there must be "clear and convicing justification for any harm to a desginated heritage asset".
National Park Impact
The choice of site is wrong for an industrial incinerator. It is in the heart of the Wey Valley and less than a mile from the National Park boundary.
The incinerator will be clearly visible from within the South Downs National Park.
No Local Need
Hampshire County Council's own 2020 draft update on its Minerals and Waste Plan shows that the county has an excess of waste recovery capacity, including incinerators, and has even exceeded the 2030 requirements. However, Hampshire has only delivered a third as much recycling capacity as required. Hampshire does not need a fourth incinerator which will burn waste that is imported from elsewhere, it needs additional recycling capacity.
Waste developments should be situated near the sources of waste: this location will mean thousands more annual HGV movements bringing commercial waste from miles away.
Veolia's own planning application suggests waste will come from an average of 48km away - which means that half the waste will come from further away than even Newbury, Ascot or Leatherhead.
The plant will draw waste from counties across the south of England, violating the "proximity principle" for processing waste.
Wasted Energy and Heat
The incinerator will inefficiently produce wasted heat, and the planning application shows this heat is not commercially viable to reuse locally. Government policy strongly encourages combined heat and power from Energy from Waste plants, which is generally only possible for plants located in urban and industrial areas.
Incineration Reduces Recycling
There is no replacement recycling facility approved locally, and Hampshire has a poor recycling record, already incinerating hundreds of thousands of tonnes of recyclable plastic every year. Incinerating more waste goes against the Government's "Waste Hierarchy" and discourages recycling, which should be the priority. Veolia refuse to take any responsibility for ensuring that they will not burn recyclable waste.
Net Loss of Jobs in Local Area
Veolia's application states that the incinerator would employ 29 people. However, the current recycling facility, that will be closed, employs 65 people, resulting in a net loss of almost 40 jobs in the local area, taking money out of our local economy.
Generation of Hazardous Waste
Cleaning the flue gases from the incinerator generates "APCr", which Veolia admit is hazardous waste. The incinerator will generate 10,000 tonnes of hazardous waste per year.
Risk of Groundwater Pollution
Construction of the incinerator will require excavation into the water table to build the "tipping bunker" where waste is dumped, leading to a serious risk of contamination of this important groundwater resource.
000s of tonnes of CO2
Burning commercial waste will create thousands of tonnes of pollution in the local area, and goes against the UK Government's CO2 reduction commitments. Veolia has claimed the incinerator will be "climate positive", however this could only be the case if it has carbon capture technology fitted, which the planning application admits is not part of their plans, and there is no space on the site to retrofit later.
Over 90% of UK incinerators are located in industrial areas, as they are industrial buildings running industrial processes. Why has Veolia not considered any alternative sites in its application?
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