Concerns over new waste plant for town

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Fears that a new waste recycling plant in Eastleigh could lead to air pollution and a nasty pong has caused one concerned Eastleigh resident to call on townsfolk to lobby the Environment Agency who are considering an application for an environmental permit.

Simon Payne, who lives on Southampton Rd, believes the new waste recycling plant shouldn’t be built at Chickenhall Lane because it is too close to the town centre even though Hampshire County Council have given planning permission to the operators Clean Power.

Mr. Payne warns that up to 64 HGV lorries a day would be needed to transport the waste which would not necessarily be local and might not even come from Hampshire .

The plant will have two 80 foot high chimneys, which say clean power, will emit just water vapor and a small amount of carbon dioxide but Mr. Payne says at other similar locations there have been slight Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2 ) emissions.

Similar emissions in Eastleigh would, he says, have a detrimental effect on NO2 levels in the town’s Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) where they are already a concern.

Clean power say the centre would produce around 15MW of renewable electricity, supplying enough energy to be able power around 10,000 homes.

This would be produced from three sources:

  • a 12MW pyrolysis Advanced Conversion Technology (ACT) plant (which is designed to burn waste ‘cleanly ‘as opposed to a traditional incinerator)
  • a 2MW anaerobic digestion (AD) unit
  • a 1MW solar panel array.

Clean Power argue the plant will create 30 jobs and that the waste would be non-hazardous.

In a press statement to Eastleigh News Clean Power said

The approved plans are extremely well located and have been designed to the highest standards. No waste will be stored on site and all processing will take place indoors in a sealed environment, preventing noise and smells.

Clean power also stated they would try to limit traffic movement during peak hours and Eastleigh News understands they are making a contribution towards traffic management improvement in Bishopstoke Road.

They told Eastleigh News:

The Local Highway Authority and the Highways Agency were consulted ahead of the County Council’s decision and extensive studies highlighted that there would be no adverse transport impacts from the servicing of the centre.

On Thursday Simon Payne addressed the Eastleigh Borough Council Cabinet telling them that since an AQMA had been declared on Southampton Rd in 2005 the NO2 levels had only ever reached a low of 50 micrograms against a recommended maximum  of 40.

“Air pollution causes around 29,000 premature deaths every year in the UK and our town is failing to meet the standard. More development is planned for this area, housing expansion and the development of Eastleigh Riverside all these have potential adverse impacts on air quality.

The ultimate solution would be a Chickenhall Lane relief road but this is unlikely.

There will be an impact from 128 HGV movements a day down Southampton Rd and Leigh Rd.

There will still be emissions from the plant that although filtered will still raise NO2 levels from the plant.

At some other locations this is between 0.3 to 0.5 of a milligram.

The other risk from the site is odour, this is from the plant itself and also from the vehicles bringing in the waste.

Anaerobic digesters are one of the biggest sources of pollution according to the Environment Agency if they go wrong there will be odour and also a spillage of silage and the Itchen SSI site is close by.

There have been seven catastrophic plant failures from March to November 2013 – two of which were explosive.

I urge the council to look at this again in detail as the site has the potential to impact on the health and amenity of residents and workers in Eastleigh town centre and Bishopstoke.”

Council leader and Cabinet Chair Keith House told Mr. Payne that there was little that Eastleigh Borough Council could do:

“We have just about no role in this”

He explained, that waste planning applications were decided by Hampshire County Council and permits granted by the Environment Agency.

After the meeting Simon Payne told Eastleigh News he felt Eastleigh Borough Council should consider asking for a judicial review into the planning application.

He also called on concerned residents to research the subject and to respond to the EA consultation by June 30.

Mr Payne said that similar schemes elsewhere in the UK had met with strong local opposition but there had been very little dissent in the town which he attributed to a lack of publicity – he felt the council should have done more to highlight the issues to residents.

A spokesman for Clean Power said:

“Our approved plans are a great way to prevent locally produced waste from going to landfill or incineration and to generate renewable electricity and heat.

Our centre will also create a significant number of full-time employment opportunities for local people and we have been delighted with the extremely positive response to our proposals so far.”

Clean Power has a website outlining details and benefits of their proposed energy farm here

A pressure group site which list drawbacks and concerns with energy recovery using pyrolysis and anaerobic digesters can be found here

The environment agency page with details on how to comment on the application can be found here


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