Councillors’ incinerator ‘discussion’ just hot air

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From: Bob Schofield, North Yorkshire Waste Action Group.

ONE really must wonder at the woeful lack of intellectual rigour brought by North Yorkshire County Council’s Planning Committee to its decision to approve the incinerator at Allerton Park near Knaresborough.

An hour of presentations by opponents, a similar stint by the applicant and a four-hour long run through of carefully selected parts of the application by officers was followed by about 15 minutes of “discussion” by the members before a nine in favour (all Tories) and two against (both Lib Dems) vote.

It beggars belief that a decision as important as this merited such trifling consideration by the members, who then dutifully put up their hands to approve a scheme already backed by the council when it awarded a contract to manage waste to the applicant in December 2010.

Given this scheme will cost North Yorkshire ratepayers £1bn and commit a generation yet to be born to paying for an inflexible and outmoded technology, it has to be considered independently by someone who will actually weigh the arguments properly.

May I repeat the fact you have often reported so that no-one is in any doubt this is not about Nimbyism: we are not against a waste treatment plant at Allerton Park. We are against this waste treatment proposal because there are proven, cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives.

May I urge all your readers who care about creating a sustainable future for our children to write to the Secretary of State for Communities, Eric Pickles, via with a copy to npcu@ urging that the application be called in and determined by an independent planning inspector at a public inquiry.