Local voices go up in smoke over incinerator

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From: David Rimington, Fairways Drive, Harrogate.

THE recent decision on the Allerton Park Incinerator illustrates the way in which politicians can treat local people with contempt.

The refusal by Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, to “call in” the planning application, means that there will be no public enquiry, and no chance for local people to put forward their objections, and have alternatives thoroughly examined.

There are genuine concerns about several aspects of the proposals, including visual impact, increased heavy traffic, and the possible effects of flue gas emissions, with increased incidence of respiratory illnesses.

The two methods of finance chosen for the scheme are the worst possible options, a combination of Private Finance Initiative, and Build, Own and Operate by the contractor. PFI was introduced as a means of hiding public sector borrowing. The contractor borrows the money, rather than the council. This in itself means a higher rate of interest repayments.

The Build, Own Operate means the council will not own the facility they are paying for, and will have no control over the way the waste is treated. It is a recipe for financial disaster.

The incineration plastics, and foam-filled furniture is a major cause of concern for local people, and air quality in the vicinity of the plant will suffer.

We have a coalition government of Conservative and Lib Dem MPs, yet they have totally failed to persuade Eric Pickles to allow the local people to present their objections and alternative proposals.

Perhaps the people of North Yorkshire will remember this at the time of future elections.