Basildon councillors unite in bid to stop toxic towers proposal

Basildon Council is opposing plans to build two 20 megawatt incinerators on the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate, Archers Fields in Basildon.

Private waste management company Clearaway has written to residents in the area asking them for their views on the proposals before it submits a planning application to Essex County Council.

In response, councillors have made it clear they have very serious concerns over the impact the proposed plant would have on air quality and would oppose the plans. The incinerator would be right next to the area that is already subject to a Government directive to improve air quality and on which the Government has threatened to impose a charging Clean Air Zone.

Councillors were unanimous in their opposition at a recent meeting of the Staffing Matters and Review Sub-Committee.

Council leader Gavin Callaghan said: “I do not understand how this proposal has even been allowed to get off the table. We have been working hard over the past year to stop the Government imposing a charging Clean Air Zone that would seriously affect businesses based on our industrial sites in Basildon. We have reduced the speed limit to help reduce emissions in the area and we are working with businesses on bringing forward plans to reduce their impact on the local environment.

“So this proposal that would see Essex rubbish brought in by 25 tonne lorries at the rate of 2-3 deliveries an hour round the clock, and two toxic towers spewing out further emissions is simply crazy.

“It’s the wrong development in exactly the wrong place. I encourage all our residents to make their views known to Clearaway and stop this proposal in its tracks.”

The council is encouraging all residents to respond to the consultation before the deadline on Friday 12 June, either using the response forms they sent or online at archersfields-erf.co.uk.  

If Clearaway presses ahead with it plans to submit a planning application, this will need to be put to statutory public consultation by Essex County Council before county councillors determine if the proposals are allowed to go ahead.

Basildon councillors also called on the county council to pledge to hold the planning meeting at which any planning application for the incinerator is heard, to be held in Basildon borough.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]