Campaigners’ delight as incinerator plans are thrown out
Campaigners fighting against plans for a controversial incinerator in Essex are celebrating after the council rejected proposals for a 190ft chimney.
Essex County Council refused two applications relating to the Rivenhall incinerator, which included increasing the chimney stack height from 35 metres to 58.
The grounds of refusal given by the council's development and regulation committee yesterday were the negative impact on landscape and heritage assets and that the need for the incinerator facility had not been demonstrated.
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James Abbott, county, district and parish councillor for Rivenhall, said he was “very happy” with the decision but acknowledged that it did not mark the end of the saga.
“We're very pleased,” he said. “This has been going on for 26 years so we are well aware that we are not at the end of the road yet.
“We were pleased with the chimney height decision, but also this is the first time Essex County Council has said that the need for the plant is not there.
“There were lots of residents, parish and district councillors there and it has very much been a joint effort.
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“It was a bit of people power, ordinary local people saying, 'this is completely inappropriate in this location'.”
Priti Patel, MP for Witham, who has also fought against the plans, said the decision marked “a turning point” in the campaign.
“The decision to refuse the latest planning applications is very welcome and marks a turning point in our campaign to get the Rivenhall incinerator stopped,” she said.
“Since they were first granted planning permission by the then Labour government in 2010, the applicants have been attempting to bulldoze though new changes to their plans.
“I am delighted by this decision and I would pay tribute to the local residents and campaigners who have worked hard for this outcome.”
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She added: “Despite the good news today, the fight is still not over.
“Another licensing application is being considered for a version of the development that has planning consent.
“I will continue to work with local residents and campaigners to oppose the Rivenhall incinerator and take whatever action I can to get it stopped.”