HARROGATE Borough Council has voted to register ‘strong objections’ to plans to build a waste incinerator at Allerton Park.
During a public meeting punctuated by impassioned pleas from campaigners against the incinerator, 14 councillors voted against the North Yorkshire County Council plans. There was one abstention.
And the Highways Agency has this week also announced it has asked for any decision to be put on hold for six months while the developer provides more information about planned measures to monimise the impact of site traffic on the A1 (M).
Campaigners turned out in their droves to Crescent Gardens, where members of the borough council’s planning committee met to discuss their response to the plans, which are due to be determined by North Yorkshire later this year.
Speaking on behalf of a group of parish councils opposing the scheme, Marton cum Grafton councillor Nicholas Wilson told the meeting: “There are alternative treatments, places are turning their backs on incineration.
“You’ve seen the placards outside – ‘waste is a resource’.”
Planning officers initially recommended passing the plans with no objections on planning grounds, but registered dissatisfaction with what they perceived to be omissions throughout the plans, particularly in the mitigation necessary for such a proposal.
Coun Richard Cooper, cabinet member for planning, pointed to 22 places within the report where officers had said more information was needed or was unavailable.
Coun Cooper added: “I’d ask members, were we deciding on this application, would we seriously pass or approve an application where we felt there were 22 missing pieces of information?
“I don’t believe we would do that and I don’t believe we should in this case either.”
Other councillors argued that the need for such a plant was not clear.
After the meeting, AmeyCespa project director Bill Jarvis said: “We will continue to work with the Waste Planning Authority and consultees, such as Harrogate Borough Council, to address key concerns to enable the delivery of a state-of-the-art waste management facility that will meet the needs of the communities of North Yorkshire and the City of York.
“We’ve been in positive dialogue with the Highways Agency as a statutory consultee for some time. This is a complex application. Therefore, we would always anticipate that such an important consultee such as the Highways Agency would be afforded more time to review and assess the document thoroughly.”