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Waterbeach incinerator: Villagers crowdfunding for expert help at public inquiry


By Alex Spencer


Villagers are raising money to hire expert advisors after a date was set for the planning inquiry into a proposed waste incinerator next to their village

Plans for the giant incinerator in Waterbeach, which would stand taller than Ely Cathedral, were rejected by Cambridgeshire County Council last year but developers Amey lodged a last minute appeal against the decision.

Campaigners against the incinerator plant at Waterbeach with Jazz Seamarks 18 (centre). Picture: Keith Heppell. (13603483)
Campaigners against the incinerator plant at Waterbeach with Jazz Seamarks 18 (centre). Picture: Keith Heppell. (13603483)

Now the Planning Inspectorate has a set a date of November 5 for the hearing to begin and local campaigners Cambridge Without Incineration (CBWIN)are once again preparing to defend their village against plans for the £200 million incinerator.

Their spokesperson said: “CBWIN are committed to strongly supporting Cambridgeshire County Council at the giant incinerator appeal hearing which ironically starts on bonfire night!”

Last year the group raised money for an independent report about the effects an incinerator would have on the local landscape.

Now they are crowdfunding again to fight the planning appeal by Amey. They said: “We are raising money to get expert advice on planning, environmental and legal issues to support us at the appeal and ensure the representation we make is as strong as possible.”

And the spokesperson added the county council had “a strong case for defending their decision to refuse planning permission on grounds of serious harm to landscape and neighbouring ancient historic monuments . They are supported by many many residents from the Fen Edge villages and right across the city, including scientists, doctors, teachers, solicitors, councillors, MPs and environmental experts. CCC is also supported by Historic England, CPRE, and the many parish councils across the Fen Edge and East Cambs, who have all strongly opposed the developer’s application and decision to appeal.”

Waterbeach incinerator protestors at Shire Hall before the meeting which halted the proposal. Picture: Keith Heppell. (13603468)
Waterbeach incinerator protestors at Shire Hall before the meeting which halted the proposal. Picture: Keith Heppell. (13603468)

The incinerator was refused planning permission on the grounds of the “significant adverse effects” the giant incinerator would have on the local landscape and on heritage site Denny Abbey. The planning inquiry in November will be held a Shire Hall and is expected to last for 16 days.

A spokesperson for Amey said: “Amey is committed first and foremost to reducing, reusing and recycling waste, but recovering energy from waste that will otherwise end up in landfill is still a necessary part of the overall picture.

Our plans for Waterbeach will prevent significant amounts of waste going to landfill, improve the County’s recycling record and provide energy for tens of thousands of local homes.

We remain convinced that our planning proposals are the right solution, both for local residents and for Cambridgeshire as a whole.”

Cambridgeshire County Council has informed those who spoke out at the original planning meeting about the new inquiry.

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “The County Council is working with its appointed experts to defend the Members’ decision and meet the set deadlines for submitting documents to the Planning Inspectorate.”

The villagers' campaign can be found at CBWIN.co.uk

Read more

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Villagers delighted as council rejects incinerator plans

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