What madness puts a waste incinerator in this rural idyll?

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From: Laurie Boyle, Hopperton, Harrogate.

NORTH Yorkshire is the largest rural county in England and tourism, as a major contributor to its economy, is being continually promoted.

Let me ask you to imagine an idyllic spot in the countryside, approximately halfway between two of the principal tourist resorts of York and Harrogate, within sight of the A1(M) and equidistant from the North York Moors and the Dales.

Within a two mile radius of this site are all the modern tourist attractions. A newly-built golf course with a driving range and plans for a luxury five-star hotel. An established caravan park and a Grade 1 listed building (a castle no less), the most important Gothic revival in England, open to the public and available for weddings and events.

Pheasants being reared in the woods, a country park used for walking and equestrian events and a paint balling and quad biking centre, all of which are surrounded by open countryside, small villages, country pubs and farms. This idyll exists. It is known as Allerton Park and it has been selected by North Yorkshire County Council as the site for a giant waste incinerator, bigger than Wembley Stadium, taller than York Minster, designed to burn household and commercial waste for the whole county and probably pollute up to 1,250 square miles of it.

Who is going mad here? Is this an example of “joined up thinking” or should we perhaps join together to call for the sacking of the chief executive and his colleagues for even considering or proposing it?

Is there anyone in North Yorkshire, outside of the council’s ivory tower, who could possibly approve, when there are more attractive, greener and cheaper alternatives? The people are opposed to the plan and more than 10,000 have petitioned against it.

All the local parish councils and the town councils have expressed objections and Harrogate Council (a mandatory consultee) has now voted unanimously against the application. Where is democracy? Where is localism, the Big Society or consensus? Who voted for this incinerator? Not the residents, or the farmers or the businesses or the schools.

People of North Yorkshire, you must not allow this arrogant, undemocratic council to ruin your county and your health and possibly your livelihood.

Fight against this utter stupidity by getting your representatives (councillors, MPs etc) to break the habit of a lifetime and represent your views instead of following their own bizarre agenda, before it’s too late.

From: Alec Denton, Oxford Avenue, Guiseley.

THE statement you attribute to Coun Richard Lewis (Yorkshire Post, March 19) that “developers are no longer interested in working in the city centre – they are pushing to develop greenfield locations” is a disgrace.

Instead of pandering to “developers”, Leeds should have a development policy stating clearly that the available brownfield sites must be developed before precious green belt land is released.

To a developer it is always better to build on a field rather than a former industrial site. Building on a field is cheaper and quicker, the houses will sell for more and your shareholders will think you are wonderful.

Unfortunately for the residents, as soon as the site is complete, the developer walks away leaving an unsightly and irreversible environmental disaster called urban sprawl together with its attendant travel problems.

Just what does it take to get the message through to Westminster and to the Civic Hall about the already over-developed A65 corridor and problems such as the potential loss of established and irreplaceable allotments in Rothwell, and why should we have to accept without question the guess of some bureaucrat about the size of the population in 2028?

Our elected councillors and MPs must stand firm and Coun Lewis needs to remember he was elected to serve the people of Leeds and not the developers.

It is to the shame of Leeds City Council that so many brownfield sites with permission remain undeveloped, including the derelict former Kirkstall Forge site, clearly visible from the train and blighting the neighbouring world class Kirkstall Abbey.

From: Nino Hoblyn, North Street, Caistor.

WHEN David came up against Goliath he has “stones” for his sling to bring this man down, but, as the people of Holmfirth are finding out and many more in our rural towns, today’s giant comes in the name of Tesco (Yorkshire Post, March 17).

And lo and behold, anyone who doth stand in their path and brings down their wrath; you will find many more who fought tooth and nail against this juggernaut.

Stones have been replaced by acorns. If David were alive today he would no doubt be very hard pushed to bring this one to heel, knowing that we have a government with a glass back and ears that go conveniently deaf when spoken to on such grave matters that concern local folk with local trade.