Anger over council’s pollution test refusal

SP90916 Pye Bridge incinerator protest.
SP90916 Pye Bridge incinerator protest.

AN ENVIRONMENTAL action group’s plea for air quality testing to help fight a proposed £8m incinerator has been refused by Amber Valley Borough Council.

AVAIN (Amber Valley Against Incinerators) was formed last summer to protest against the incinerator power plant on the Pye Bridge Industrial Estate amid fears of pollution, health risks and traffic chaos to residents across the area including Selston and other nearby villages.

Calls for the air-quality test were voted down by Amber Valley Conservative councillors last week.

But AVAIN chairman Simon Lee claimed: “They are playing party politics with public health.

“Amber Valley Borough Council has no current ward-specific data about air quality – all they have is a generic one for the entire borough.

“That’s no use if you have got a completely bespoke generator.

“Without that information, how can you say nothing is coming off the industrial estate, or the landfill site or the M1?”

Conservative councillor David Bowley said: “We thought it was unfair that the borough council should pay to have it when actually those plans for the incinerator will go to the county council. They should pick up the bill.”

An Amber Valley spokesman said of the current policy: “To date we have not identified any areas likely to exceed the standards and have therefore not declared any Air Quality Management Areas. All of our yearly reports and their conclusions have been submitted to, and approved by, DEFRA.”

In May, AVAIN submitted a 15-point document to Derbyshire County Council objecting to the application by Warwick Energy Ltd for an incinerator which converts fuel briquettes into energy.

The council is currently considering the potential impact on roads in the area if the waste briquettes used in the gasification process are imported from other sites.

And last year, the Advertiser reported how Selston parish councils claimed residents living in Jubilee would bear the brunt of the fumes because of the prevailing winds.

Mr Lee said AVAIN now planned to form an independent political party in Amber Valley to fight the plans.

“If the councillors aren’t doing what we ask we have to challenge them,” he added.

Warwick Energy Ltd says the Environment Agency would monitor any emissions from the plant and denies it poses a threat to public health.