Victory For Anti-Incinerator Campaign in Notts
Pickles rejects Sherwood Forest incinerator
Following a public inquiry, the Secretary of State Eric Pickles has refused planning permission for Veolia’s proposed 180,000 tonne waste incinerator in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire. The public inquiry, which was presided over by Inspector Rupert Grantham, opened in October 2009 and was adjourned twice at the request of Veolia to allow them time to submit further evidence.
The greenfield site, owned by UK Coal and subject to a planning condition requiring restoration to heathland and woodland, is in the heart of Sherwood Forest, and is used by rare and protected bird species such as woodlark and nightjar.
Local campaign group People Against Incineration (PAIN) were joined by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Newark & Sherwood District Council in opposing the application at the public inquiry. There was also a community evening where local residents voiced their opposition to the incinerator.
In the Planning Inspector’s view: “...Veolia have failed to show use of the Rufford facility would not prejudice further movement up the waste hierarchy...Recognition that the site is not previously developed land would have ruled it out at an early stage in the site selection process. I have also identified significant shortcomings in the subsequent assessment of this and other shortlisted sites. To my mind, the appraisal of alternative sites has not been robust”.
PAIN’s Chairman, Bernard Thompson, said: “This is a happy day for the people of Rainworth, and for all who care about Sherwood Forest. I would like to thank everyone involved. Local support remained solid over many years of campaigning. We have utmost respect for the Planning Inspector, Mr Rupert Grantham, who treated all parties fairly and arrived at the right conclusion.”
Shlomo Dowen, who gave evidence on behalf of PAIN at the inquiry, said: “It is unfortunate that Veolia and Nottinghamshire County Council have squandered so much time and public money on this misadventure. Now that this distraction is over PAIN looks forward to working with our County Council to ensure that Nottinghamshire’s ever-decreasing quantity of waste is managed sustainably.”
Newark & Sherwood District Councillor Linda Tift said: “I am overjoyed to hear that this beloved site will be protected from development. The site is clearly important to nature conservation and is surrounded by Sites of Special Scientific Interest. I hope that UK Coal will now honour their promise to return the site to heathland so that the community’s vision for the area to be restored and included in a Sherwood Forest Regional Park can be realised.”