Protestors vow to fight on over incinerator scheme

PROTESTORS have vowed to fight on after the Environment Agency issued a permit for a controverisal waste to gas incinerator at Pye Bridge.

Amber Valley Against Incinerators (AVAIN) say they will turn out “in force” when the planning application by Warwick Energy Ltd is considered by Derbyshire County Council - although no date has yet been set.

The environmental permit decision is separate from the planning process and allows the site to operate once it has been built.

Simon Lee, chairman of AVAIN, said the group was “appalled that the EA could not provide unequivocal guarantees of safety and that they also totally ignored the effects of in-combination pollution from the historical landfill site 250 metres from the proposed incinerator.”

Steve Proffitt, Pollution Prevention Control Team Leader at the EA, said: “We have carefully considered all the responses and have issued this permit because we are satisfied it contains the necessary conditions and control measures to ensure that Warwick Energy Pye Bridge Limited operate in a way that will protect both the environment and human health.

“Issuing the permit is only the first stage in our regulation of the facility.

“Should it be built, we will monitor its environmental performance, including emissions to air, to ensure that permit conditions are not breached.”

A spokesperson for Warwick Energy said the firm was pleased that the EA is “satisfied that our proposals contain the necessary conditions and control measures to ensure the protection of both environmental and human health.

“The proposed gasification plant will divert non-recyclable waste from landfill and, using the clean process of gasification, produce enough electricity to power 7,700 homes.”

Mr Lee said: “AVAIN fully expected that the EA would issue a permit for the Pye Bridge Incinerator, after similar permits had been granted in the past for Sinfin and Chesterfield sites.

“We are assured that similar incinerators have been refused at Sinfin and Chesterfield at the planning stage, both of which cited fear of risk to human health as a defining factor.”

He added that the EA has failed to take into account the current levels of pollution in the area as Amber Valley Borough Council doesn’t keep ward-specific Air Quality information.

The council says it has not identified any areas likely to exceed the standards.

Their yearly reports have been submitted to, and also approved by, DEFRA.