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Graham Smith | 13:05 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

Council nets St Dennis hedgerow ahead of incinerator decision

Cornwall Council is wrapping a hedegrow in St Dennis in anti-bird netting, in anticipation of getting planning permission for a £110 million waste incinerator. The council believes any delay to the start of construction could cost £1 million a month. But anti-incinerator campaigners say the move threatens wildlife. A decision on whether or not the incinerator (Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre) has planning permission is expected in the next few weeks.
The council's just emailed me this:
"The cost of purchasing and erecting the netting is approximately £10,000. The cost of delays to the opening of the CERC are approximately £1,000,000 per month. If the decision is given early say in April and the Cabinet accept the Revised Project Plan, say in June, then the netting could potentially save £2,000,000. The Council had two options to try and mitigate costs due to delays associated with nesting: a) cut down all mature trees and flail the hedges or b) net the trees and hedges. If planning permission was not obtained and trees had been cut down there would be ongoing detriment to the environment in the form of the loss of mature trees, however if nets were used they can simply be removed with no lasting detriment to the environment. St Dennis, St Enoder, and St Stephen Parish Councils and the local Councillor were informed of the works and the reason for the netting. In addition the St Dennis News was also informed. The netting will be taken down if planning permission is not given or when construction on the scheme begins. The netting is being inspected every day by Cornwall Environmental consultants to check no birds or animals trapped and it is secure and not fastened in an unsafe manner."

Graham Smith | 11:59 UK time, Sunday, 20 March 2011

Not much of a no-fly zone at incinerator site

A pleasant Sunday morning stroll at Trevisco reveals the nature of Cornwall Council's attempt to stop birds nesting in hedges which might have to be ripped out when if the incinerator gets its planning permission. There are lots of gaps in the netting. So many gaps, in fact, that I do wonder if this is a serious effort to keep wildlife out of the hedge - or merely a cynical box-ticking exercise, to demonstrate that all possible means have been taken to protect the environment when if the incinerator gets the go-ahead.

18 May 2007

Incinerator Raises Fertility Fear

A retired GP has raised objections to a proposed incinerator in Cornwall saying it could increase infertility, infant deaths, miscarriages and birth defects.

Dr Dick Van Steenis has been investigating the health effects of incineration plants for 12 years.

He said there was a fault with the way "toxic" emissions were tested.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said incinerators have little effect on health if they comply with modern regulatory requirements.

Waste company Sita has put forward plans to build the incinerator in an area of land near St Dennis after it won a £500m contract to manage Cornwall's waste last July.

If the plans are approved, the site could be up and running by 2012.

Residents have opposed the scheme, and posters saying: "Wanted: A pollution free Cornwall" have been attached to lamp posts in the area.

'Stringent regulations'

Dr Van Steenis claims his research of 15 incinerators in the UK has shown cancer rates increase five-fold and that asthma and depression rates also rise in areas around plants.

He collected evidence from government data to show the effects of PM2.5 particles which are released and can be harmful if breathed in.

He said: "No matter which installation you look at that produces PM2.5 particles, you get the same effects, in the same places at the same rate, irrespective."

Dr Gev Eduljee, the technical director of Sita UK, said over the last 20 years, 24 public enquiries and judicial hearings have found incinerators to be safe.

He added: "There is clearly a gap between the public's perception of incineration and what many health studies have been telling us, which is that there is no evidence of adverse health effects or any negative impacts on the local surroundings or the local economy.

"This is a challenge that we as an industry have to tackle along with the government and regulators.

"We can only do that by inviting the public into our facilities, showing them our data and giving them honest and accurate information about what we do."

He said Sita does know what was coming out of its incinerators, levels of PM2.5 are extremely low and the Environment Agency carry out random tests to confirm the readings.

The HPA said: "There is little evidence to suggest that incinerators are associated with increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms in the surrounding population.

"Modern, well-managed waste incinerators will only make a very small contribution to background levels of air pollution."

16 April 2006

Residents' recycling 'not dumped'

Householders in Cornwall have been asked to continue with their recycling efforts after being reassured that none of their material was being wasted. It follows recent reports in the national news that some local councils have been dumping recycled goods. Cornwall County Council said it wanted to remind residents that recycling saved resources and reduced landfill. The authority said it was committed to expanding the county's recycling and composting schemes. The district and borough councils in Cornwall collect direct from more than 90% of 250,000 homes. The recyclable materials are taken to one of two recycling facilities or to the Carrick bulking facility, where they are sorted then sent for reprocessing within the UK.