Protesters vow to continue fight

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

PROTESTERS have vowed to fight on after the Environment Agency issued a permit for a controversial waste to gas incinerator near Selston.

Amber Valley Against Incinerators (AVAIN) say they will turn out ‘in force’ when the planning application by Warwick Energy Ltd is considered by Derbyshire County Council – although no date has yet been set.

The environmental permit decision is separate from the planning process and allows the site to operate once it has been built.

Simon Lee, chairman of AVAIN, said the group was ‘appalled that the EA could not provide unequivocal guarantees of safety’.

“They also totally ignored the effects of in-combination pollution from the historical landfill site 250 metres from the proposed incinerator,” he added.

But Steve Proffitt, Pollution Prevention Control Team Leader at the EA, said: “We have carefully considered all the responses and have issued this permit because we are satisfied it contains the necessary conditions and control measures to ensure that Warwick Energy Pye Bridge Limited operate in a way that will protect both the environment and human health.

“Issuing the permit is only the first stage in our regulation of the facility.

“Should it be built, we will monitor its environmental performance, including emissions to air, to ensure that permit conditions are not breached.”

A spokesman for Warwick Energy said the firm was pleased that the EA was satisfied the proposals ‘contain the necessary conditions and control measures to ensure the protection of both environmental and human health’.

“The proposed gasification plant will divert non-recyclable waste from landfill and, using the clean process of gasification, produce enough electricity to power 7,700 homes,” he added.

But Mr Lee said: “AVAIN fully expected that the EA would issue a permit for the Pye Bridge Incinerator, after similar permits had been granted in the past for Sinfin and Chesterfield sites.

“We are assured that similar incinerators have been refused at Sinfin and Chesterfield at the planning stage, both of which cited fear of risk to human health as a defining factor.”

Selston Parish Council has already revealed its opposition to the plans with fears that any airborne pollutants will affect residents around Jubilee worst of all because of the prevailing winds in the area meaning they will bear the brunt of any fumes.