Where will it go?
Wheelabrator want to build their massive waste to power incinerator alongside the A303 just East of Andover, adjacent to the Raymond Brown “Enviropark”.
Brown’s recycling plant was accepted by most locals without demur, but this proposal is an entirely different matter.
It would be on high ground in the heart of the Test Valley, overlooking the Rivers Test and Dever. It would also be visible from the North Wessex Downs, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The US company’s plan puts the structure between the villages of Longparish and Barton Stacey -both of which are designated conservation areas. With its chimneys between 70 and 80 metres tall, the incinerator would be next door to a heavily used army helicopter training area.
Ironically, the 46-metre-tall building would partially shade the existing solar farm on the land next door, reducing the amount of genuinely clean power it can produce.
Who is building it?
Wheelabrator is a US company based in New Hampshire. It is second largest waste to energy business in the States and it is owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, part of the Australian Macquarie Group. Wheelabrator run nineteen incinerators worldwide, with one operational and three under construction in the UK.
In 2011 in Massachusetts, Wheelabrator was charged with improperly disposing of contaminated sludge and waste water. The company had to pay a record $7.5 million to settle a state lawsuit.
Eighteen months before that, complaints by employee whistleblowers triggered a state investigation of Wheelabrator incinerators. The alleged violations included emitting ash through holes in the plant’s roof and walls; failure to properly treat and dispose of ash and dumping waste water in the surrounding wetlands.
The Planning Process: The 6 Steps
Wheelabrator say the plant would generate between 51 and 65 megawatts of electricity. Conveniently this is enough to make the scheme a NATIONAL STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT (SIPS) requiring a Development Consent Order (DCO).
That means the decision on whether to allow it to be built is taken away from local authorities and put into the hands of the Government Inspectorate and ultimately the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
As consultees, Hampshire County Council and other local politicians can express an opinion BUT HAVE NO POWER TO DECIDE whether they want this monster on our doorstep.
This chart outlines the application process and you can be involved.
The project is now at the pre-application stage
Wheelabrator held brief public display – which they describe as a consultation – during the spring of 2019 in Longparish and Barton Stacey.
The firm has submitted an initial “scoping” report to the Government Inspectorate which has now called for much more information.
For instance, it wants to know more about the visual impact over a much greater distance than Wheelabrator proposed, as well as the effect on wildlife and water courses. It also wants to know how Wheelabrator would deal with a major incident, and details of how power generated will reach the National Grid 8km away.
Stage two involves statutory consultation period under the planning act 2008, which is running from 1st Nov to 12th Dec 2019. THIS WILL BE THE BEST OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO COMMENT ON, AND POTENTIALLY INFLUENCE THE PROPOSAL.
The formal application for development consent will then be made to the Inspectorate. Wheelabrator say this could be towards the end of 2019, but there are suggestions it may be delayed until the New Year.
If the application is accepted a Government inspection panel will then examine the project. THIS STAGE PROVIDES IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO REGISTER AS AN “INTERESTED PARTY.”
SUBMISSIONS CAN ALSO BE MADE AT PUBLIC HEARINGS before the panel submits its recommendation to the secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who will decide whether to grant consent or reject the scheme.
His or her decision is be subject to legal appeal.
The Keep Test Valley Beautiful team is aware of the widespread anxiety about the proposed Incinerator between the villages of Barton Stacey and Longparish in the heart of beautiful Hampshire countryside.
Concern has also been expressed by people living in Whitchurch, Andover, Winchester, Overton, Wherwell Sutton Scotney and many other communities.
The future of burning waste is currently under question in the UK and other countries, as it pollutes the atmosphere and contributes to global warming.
Use the form to contact us with any comments or requests for more information.
The campaign to ‘BIN THE INCINERATOR’ is being pursued with energy and determination, but needs help with funding.
Donations will help pay for expert advice about the impact on air quality, flora and fauna, the local aquifer and rivers as well as passing on information through promotional material.
Please donate to help us defeat this monstrous scheme.