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Objections to the Swadlincote Resource Recovery Park (incinerator)

Below are some objections that the public may use when formulating their objections to the Swadlincote Incinerator. Towards the end of the objections below are some reflections on the recent updated application (Sept/Oct 2023).

Note: these are the result of volunteer effort and not professionals. We cannot vouch for their accuracy.



Petition here (it's important that you submit your objections as above though) - a petition doesn't mean a lot in the wider planning process:


Objections


Landscape and Visual Effects


The proposed development would:

- See much of a 60-metre-tall incineration facility standing over the National Forest landscape, farmland estates and green belt. It would not contribute positively to area character or quality (contrary to NPPW Appendix B c; Local Plan Para.3.3; Local Plan Strategic objective 9; Local Plan Policy S1; Local Plan Policy E2b; Local Plan Policy E7; Local Plan Para.6.38; Local Plan Para.7.38; Local Plan Policy SD6; Local Plan BNE1 e,f,g,h; Local Plan Para.8.38; Local Plan Para.8.13; Local Plan BNE4; National Forest Strategy 2014-2024; NPPF 147; National Infrastructure Strategy pg.84; Derbyshire Spatial Energy Study).

- Create permanent ‘large-to-medium’ magnitude of harm for Landscape Character Areas 9 and 10 and their corresponding Landscape Character Types and National Forest LCAs/LCTs. The significance of the landscape character impacts are rated as ‘major-to-moderate’ (LVIA, Table 7.8).

- Be of such a large scale that it could not be mitigated ‘to appreciably reduce these adverse visual effects’ (LVIA, pg.26).

- Contradict the SDDC Local Plan and National Planning Policy.


Grounds to object:

- The LVIA clearly identifies these landscape effects. The LVIA appendices contain visuals of the extent of the impact from PROWs up to around 2km away. In particular, the impact 1.26km on footpath SD1/1 (LVIA Appendices Photomontages 1 of 6) demonstrate the contrast of the building wire grid versus the surrounding countryside landscape.

- The landscape character has been identified as being subject to ‘large-to-medium’ magnitude of harm for LCAs 9 and 10 and their corresponding LCTs and National Forest LCAs/LCTs (LVIA, Table 7.8). The significance of the landscape character impacts are rated as ‘major-to-moderate’.

- The impacts are permanent and are not acceptable.

- The presence of highly susceptible users on local PROWs, accessing the National Forest attractions, at nearby golf courses and country parks are not acceptable. The LVIA appendices demonstrate the impact from local PROWs.

- The proposed development is not in scale with existing built development and will give rise to undue impacts on the local landscape and natural environment, contrary to Policy E2b of the Adopted Local Plan (SDDC).

- The National Forest is an ongoing multimillion-pound project. The visual impacts of the proposed development will devalue that effort. The development would go against the National Forest vision.

- There is good scenic quality and the landscape appeals to the senses by the nature of several kilometres of rolling fields and woodland that run up to a woodland at the far vista. The particular character and perceptual aspects, as outlined in the National Character Area profile, are described as ‘tranquil’. The landscape holds much recreational value given the extensive bridleways, footpaths and quieter roads that give rise to more pleasant recreational pursuits such as walking and cycling. There will also be impacts on the landscape when viewed from the popular Rosliston Forestry Centre. This further adds to the assessment of it as a ‘valued landscape’.

- There is no existing development of this scale within the immediate area or any area near to it. None protrude on the landscape to any such extent.


Habitat, Biodiversity and Natural Capital


The proposed development would:

- Cause significant harm to priority habitat (deciduous woodland) and scarce and protected species (green-crested newt, grass snakes, bats) (contrary to NPPW Para.5, Appendix B Para.4; NPPF 174a, 174b, 174d, 180a, 180d, 185c; Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006 Section 41; Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 Schedule 5; Local Plan SD6, Para.3.3; Local Plan SD1A; Biodiversity Duty Guidance; Planning Guidance: Biodiversity; Energy from Waste Guide Para.138, Para.184).

- Have ‘a potential adverse effect on five of the LWS’ (Designated Site Assessment).

- Lead to the loss of most habitats present which cannot be compensated for on-site (Breeding Bird Report 6.3; DSA pg.16).

- Lead to the irreversible harm and death of species and habitat.

- Not restore these through the proposed offsets which are not like-for-like (in light of priority habitat), or within home range (Protected Species Decision Checklist).

- Cause significant harm to the coherence of the ecological network (despite the mitigation/compensation measures proposed by the applicant).

- Have inadequate biodiversity improvements in and around the proposed development, to secure measurable net gains for biodiversity.

- Have an adverse effect on a habitat and species of principle importance for conserving biodiversity in England (woodland, bats, birds, newts, snakes), despite the mitigation/compensation measures proposed by the applicant (which are inadequate and not in line with the Environment Act 2021).


Grounds to object:

- The woodland is identified as ‘Priority Habitat’ and is protected. The proposed development would cause significant harm to ‘priority habitat’, of biodiversity value, despite the mitigation/compensation measures proposed by the applicant (which are inadequate).

- The planning application has not recognised the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside or the wider benefits from natural capital and ecosystem services.

- The planning application has failed to minimise impacts on biodiversity and provide sufficient net gains for biodiversity despite the mitigation/compensation measures proposed by the applicant (which are inadequate and not in line with the Environment Act 2021).

- The proposed offset is not suitable and does not feature like-for-like habitat renewal (necessary due to the ‘Priority Habitat’). It would be a ‘trading down’ which is not appropriate.

- The proposed development will have an adverse effect on a habitat and species of principle importance for conserving biodiversity in England, despite the mitigation/compensation measures put forward by the applicant (which are inadequate).

South Derbyshire District Council have recently declared an Ecological Emergency making the conservation of the environment a strategic priority.


Transport, Road Safety and Traffic


The proposed development would:

- Lead to 20 additional HGVs an hour (196 per day), on top of 500 per week at the existing MRF, on a village road with some of the greatest NO2 readings in the district, with one section nearby declared an AQMA. Compounded by the uncertainty of the Drakelow bypass, which would see another 200 vehicles per day from the Drakelow incinerator and 60 from the Renewable Energy Centre per day, if the bypass were not to proceed (contrary to Local Plan Policy E7; Local Plan SD6; NPPW Para.5).

- Add to road safety concerns on the A444 which the County Council have already declared cannot be improved, including narrow footpaths (NPPF 112a).

- Permanently prevent a rail freight opportunity that the site is conserved for in the District Local Plan (INF2D).

- The Burton Town Regeneration Strategy Stage One Report identified congestion and delays on Stanton Road. "The least reliable routes in the AM are Main Street/Rosliston Road and Stanton Road (40-48%)". (p.65) The 2020 Burton Town Investment Plan also highlighted congestion on the A444 as a barrier to active travel.

- In 2021, there were two pedal cycle accidents and casualties (within 6 weeks of one another) on the A444 through Stanton, and there is a marked difference in cycle accidents versus the A444 as it continues into Stapenhill (Staffordshire).


Grounds to object:

- The A444 is already problematic through the rural village of Stanton.

- Significant traffic concerns have been reported by residents over many years on the A444, which runs through Stanton and past several schools. Derbyshire County Council have stated that nothing can be done to improve the safety of the road, even at the Primary School.

- The development will also generate additional heavy vehicle traffic and will impact the already problematic A444.

- The cumulative impact of a range of developments close by are not factored into the cumulative effects assessment (substantial housing, a new supermarket planned just 700m away, the reinstatement of a large industrial building to the east).

- The development would permanently prevent a rail freight opportunity that the site is conserved for in the District Local Plan (INF2D).


Green Infrastructure


The proposed development would:

- Be highly apparent to highly susceptible receptors on nearby PROWs, country parks and golf courses as modelled in the LVIA and appendices.

- Reduce the attractiveness of National Forest PROWs.

- Have the potential to reduce the attractiveness of proposed PROW and greenway developments (Local Plan INF7; National Forest Strategy).


Grounds to object:

- The proposed development does not conserve or enhance the green infrastructure (particularly PROWs and the National Forest) and risks future extension of the green infrastructure, contrary to Policy INF7 of the Adopted Local Plan.

- The existing green infrastructure and in particular walking routes will be harmed by this development. The LVIA and associate appendices clearly outline the visual impact on many countryside-set Public Rights of Way and over one kilometre away.

- The potential development of these routes may also help mitigate the traffic congestion of the A444 (including the AQMA applicable to it) and improve the safety of this road for cyclists (and for pedestrians who are impacted by cyclists using the pavement due to the road risks).


Air Quality


The proposed development would:

- Risk residents at housing developments just 150m away and the nearest complex 226m away.

- Add to air quality concerns from another incinerator 3.1km and traffic concerns on the A444 (contrary to Local Plan SD1; Local Plan SD6; NPPF 186; NPPW App B).


Grounds to object:

- Air quality will suffer as a point of fact, even with the adoption of BAT and monitoring.

- The Air Quality Assessment within the application itself outlines that emissions from the development could have an impact up to 10km away.

- The proposed development is close to the AQMA-marked A444 (which sees over 17000 vehicles a day). For this reason, it is inappropriate (NPPF para.186).

- The area in the vicinity of the proposed development (the two Stanton-based NO2 reading points (SDDC9 and 10)), except for a monitoring point in Woodville, had the highest annual mean readings in 2021 across the district (SDDC Air Quality Annual Status Report, 2022)

- Were the proposed development to proceed, there would be two major incineration plants within 3.1km of one another. The cumulative impacts of the two incinerators being in proximity are not modelled within the Air Quality sections of the environmental statements, posing an outstanding air quality concern. Indeed, it fails to even mention the existence of the Drakelow site, despite it being just 3.1km away. This sits contrary to para.186 of the NPPF.


Land Use Conflict


The proposed development would:

- Contradict the growing residential and leisure use immediately surrounding the site and the farmland/agricultural use to the West of the site (contrary to NPPW Appendix B).


Grounds to object:

- The proposed land use contrasts the heavy agricultural use of the West of the A444.

- The area has seen investment in a golf course, foot golf, and country park (likely resulting in high receptor susceptibility to the visual effects of the ERF which will dominate the landscape when looking West from those locations).

- The development of further green infrastructure of nearby and proposed PROWs contradicts the development. Some of these proposals support the ongoing development of the National Forest and related route development.


Noise


The proposed development would:

- Generate around 5-60db persistently, the equivalent of moderate rain fall.

- Add to existing concerns from nearby residents (contrary to Local Plan SD6; NPPW App B; NPPF 174, 185).


Grounds to object:

- The noise assessment accompanying the application outlines significant and persistent noise effects on residents once the site is in operation. It concludes that the operation of the incineration plant alone (not including the Aggregates Facility) would create a long-term ‘minor-to-moderate’ magnitude of impact, and the significance of the impact would be ‘significant’ (Noise and Vibration Assessment, Chap.9, pg.45).

- The proposed incineration aspect of the development is set to create noise from three aspects of the plant at a range of around 85-95 decibels. This will be persistent for noise sensitive residents due to the 24/7 nature of the site.

- The Willshee’s recycling site (of much lesser scale than the proposed development) which exists on the site at present, has already created additional noise and has been subject to complaints by local residents. The noise from the existing site carries across the fields to properties on the West side of the A444 in Stanton over 1.4km away.

- Since the proposed development sits 40 metres proud of the proposed tree line and existing valleyed recess, there are no natural barriers or strategic buffers (contrary to SD1 of Local Plan) to sufficiently mitigate against noise.

- There is no adequate strategic buffer between houses from just 226m away.


Odour


The proposed development would:

- Have the potential to create odours for nearby housing developments (NPPW App B).


Grounds to object:

- During the engagement phase, concerns were raised about odours. The applicants responded that there would be none. This contradicts the Air Quality Assessment included with the application, which states: “As the proposed facility will process refuse-derived fuel (RDF), which is composed of waste, there is also potential to generate odours”.

- Several Neighbouring properties stand just 150 and 226 metres away.


Harm to Health


The proposed development would:

- Proceed at a time of ‘inconclusive’ health impacts and Scotland and Wales have stopped permitting such developments.

- Have failed to consider the cumulative health effects from the Drakelow incinerator and other local developments (See traffic chapter).


Grounds to object:

- Incineration, like other waste management solutions, are not ‘safe’ to human health. Research that explores whether incineration is harmful to human health is difficult and highly contested due to evolving technologies and techniques (versus old, less clean forms), international differences in approach, and the difficulty in attributing health effects to one cause - particularly when incinerators are often in more deprived areas where health outcomes may be poorer. However, there is a healthy, albeit always contestable, body of research to suggest negative health effects for those living close to incineration sites.

- The conclusion of the Independent Review of the Role of Incineration in the Waste Hierarchy in Scotland suggested cautious and strategic consideration were needed regarding the health impacts. It stated:


"Whilst it is too late for the location of these incineration facilities, future waste capacity of any kind should be placed more strategically... given the risks that incineration poses to human health and the environment, and the risk of lock-in, Scotland should not construct more capacity than it needs and only some of the currently planned capacity should be built... Communities deserve more authentic and committed engagement from local authorities and industry than is currently sometimes the case. This includes making more data more accessible... the growth of incineration, changes to waste composition and wider decarbonisation will make incineration less favourable over time, which if unaddressed will have implications for Scotland’s net zero ambitions."


Economic


The proposed development would:

- Stand to reduce the tourism benefits of the National Forest on the local economy.

- Go against National efforts to drive a circular economy since EFW emits pollutants and the site does not have scope for carbon capture to be retrofitted (contrary to Local Plan; National Infrastructure Strategy pg.21; National Infrastructure Commission second national infrastructure assessment: baseline report pg.40-41; Clean Air Strategy s.3.1; Resources and Waste Strategy Evaluation Plan pg.36).


Grounds to object:

- The EFW plant does not support a circular economy and the National Infrastructure Commission have raised concern at the growing emissions from EFW facilities.

- The National Forest is an ongoing multimillion-pound project. The visual impacts of the proposed development will devalue that effort. Groups and businesses trade upon their association with this National Forest designation, and as the quote above shows there is significant local tourism income that results from it.


Lack of Alignment with Local Plan


The proposed development would:

- Contradict the Local Plan (District) (contrary to Local Plan Para.1.8; NPPF para.8; National Infrastructure Strategy pg.84).

- Be contrary to the alleged ‘certainty’ the Local Plan says it brings.


Grounds to object:

- The Adopted Local Plan does not identify the proposed development site as a location for a development of this nature. The Adopted Local Plan has influenced the decisions of many to reside in the rural Green Belt or at extensive nearby new developments (for instance Kiln Meadows, Manorfields) in and around the Stanton, Caldwell and Drakelow countryside.

- A development of this nature is not identified or necessitated in the Local Plan and goes against the ‘certainty’ the Adopted Local Plan is stated to bring.

- The NPPF states categorically “where a planning application conflicts with an up-to-date development plan (including any neighbourhood plans that form part of the development plan), permission should not usually be granted”.


Not Exceptional Circumstances


The proposed development would:

- Not meet exceptional circumstances and would add to over-capacity in England and the District (contrary to NPPF para.8; Local Plan Para.7.6; NPPW Para.7 pg.6; Drakelow Incinerator; UKWIN; Waste Management Plan for England pg.17).


Grounds to object:

- There is no national or district incineration under-capacity.

- The relevant Infrastructure Delivery Plan (s.13, pg.21) does not identify the strategic need or possibility for the proposed development.

- Neither the Adopted Local Plan, the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (s.13) nor the ‘Delivery Schedule of Waste Infrastructure within South Derbyshire’ set out a need for further waste management facilities. A new incinerator just 3.1km away exists.

- As such, there is no strategic or business case for this development.


Failure to Engage


The proposed development would:


- Not have engaged those locally and impacted by the site sufficiently (contrary to Localism Act 2011; NPPF 126, 132).

- Be based on an inaccurate statement of community involvement, with less than 1% of residents in the engagement area receiving the postal documents alleged.


Grounds to object:

- The Statement of Community Involvement states that postal letters were sent to over 1000 ‘properties closest to the site’ and included a marked map area (pg.10, para.4.1.1). However, a community survey attracting over 120 eligible responses* in this boundary area found that only one household claims to have received this. Fewer than 1% of properties appear to have received the engagement documents alleged in the SCI.

- This has resulted in the County Councillor withdrawing his comments towards this application.

- The village of Stanton has no parish council and so its only form of authority engagement is via an Area Forum. Despite County Councillors attending this regular engagement event, this development has not been brought to these.


Other Objections


Additional grounds to object:

- To put the development of two incinerators in such proximity (3.1km) into context, across all of England in the year 2019, there were only 2 mixed municipal incinerator permits approved (UK Parliament Comments Library, 2020). The same for 2017, 2016, and 2015 (in 2018 there was just 1). For there to be 2 incinerators approved in this area within recent years would be highly irregular.

- Litter has been a problem since the RDF opened and more litter and more reactive litter-picking activity is noted on the road close to the site. The Village of Stanton had to request more bins as a result of this and villagers began litter picking in 2020 after a noticeable rise in litter following the RDF opening (NPPW App B k.).

- The site is in a flood zone 3 area which runs from east to west through the site. It has already been established that flood compensation measures from the MRF facility were not put in place (Environmental Statement: Water Resources, pg.1). The same statement states these cannot be achieved retrospectively. Waste is considered a polluting substance in the context of surface water run-off (NPPW App B).

- The 25-year Environment Plan (pg. 94, Chapter 4 (iv)) outlines the need to carefully consider the infrastructure and its ability to meet future changes. The site does not provide space for carbon capture retrofit.

- There is a reasonable likelihood that a protected species (as identified in the environment assessment) is present and affected by the proposed development. The planning application has not provided adequate information on how the species will be affected and the measures to safeguard them (NPPF 180a).

- The application failed to properly assess alternative sites (DCC Principles of Decision-making).


Inadequacies at Waste Planning Authority Level

The Waste Planning Authority do not identify this site or any sites in their Local Plan. Neither do they identify the types of waste management facility that would be located on an allocated site. As such, the Waste Local Plan is not compliant with National Policy (NPPW Para 4,5; NPPF Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development i, ii).


The failure of this Waste Local Plan to align with National Policy has frustrated the planning application assessment process.


Updated Information:

These are additional updates provided towards the application. Residents received letters in September and October 2023 about these.


Response to DCC Highways and June 2023 Traffic Figures

  • The traffic data is flawed and inaccurate:

  • The data was collected during a closure of the A444 (in Stapenhill for a cycle lane to be introduced) which would have impacted normal traffic flows. This was not acknowledged by the applicant.

  • The data shows an irregular split of traffic at the Cadley Roundabout which casts doubt on its accuracy.

  • A new survey should be conducted during a neutral traffic week.

  • The traffic impacts cannot be tolerated given existing concerns about congestion on the A444 raised in the Burton upon Trent Town Plan.

Additional Visual Impact Viewpoints and Photomontages

The new viewpoints demonstrate:

  • The rural, agricultural character of the surrounding area.

  • The enormous adverse visual impact the development would have on the landscape.

Image shows a rural scene with lines where an incinerator may go
Red lines show the size and scale

Objections:

  • The reinstatement of the Ivanhoe rail line between Burton and Leicester means rail users would be additional sensitive receptors.

  • The visualisations show the development would have an unacceptable impact on the rural landscape that cannot be mitigated, conflicting with Local Plan policy BNE4.


Heritage Assessment Addendum

The assessment downplays the visual impacts despite evidence to the contrary.

Objections:

  • The assessment is heavily biased in the applicant's favour. The conclusions do not match the evidence in the LVIA of major landscape impacts.

  • There would be an unacceptable impact on the setting of the nearby Cadley Hill Farm heritage asset, conflicting with Local Plan policies SD6, S1, E2, BNE4.

  • Impacts on views from the Castle Gresley scheduled monument conflict with NPPF 194 and Local Plan policy BNE2 on conserving heritage assets.


Technical Note on LVIA

The note contains inaccuracies about the site context and surroundings.

Objections:

  • It fails to recognise the site comprises priority habitat woodland and nearby greenbelt land.

  • Predicted landscape impacts that cannot be mitigated conflict with NPPW policy requiring waste facilities contribute positively to local character.

  • Inability to mitigate landscape impacts also conflicts with Local Plan policy BNE4.

  • The development would be highly visible protruding above treelines in a tranquil, rural landscape for miles around.



I have objected on the Council website

  • Yes

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