Fired up for fight to block rubbish incinerator

FIGHTING TALK -- Coun Gail Turner (Ind), who has voiced early outrage over the incinerator plans
FIGHTING TALK -- Coun Gail Turner (Ind), who has voiced early outrage over the incinerator plans

AN OUTSPOKEN councillor has pledged to lead the fight after Hucknall and other parts of Ashfield were included on a list of possible sites for a controversial waste-burning incinerator.

Gail Turner, an Independent member of Ashfield District Council, says such a move would lead to the area becoming “a dumping ground for the rest of the county”.

Coun Turner has gone public on the eve of a public consultation being launched by Notts County Council into a strategy to deal with waste from homes and businesses in the Dispatch district and the rest of the county.

She believes that should an energy recovery facility (ERF), or incinerator, be built locally, Ashfield would end up taking an unfair proportion of the county’s rubbish.

Coun Turner, who is also a member of the county council, said: “If we were to take our share and it was shared out a bit more evenly across the county, I might work with them. But I will not work with this and I will actively campaign against such a plan.”

Outlining her objections, Coun Turner said that incinerators should not be built close to where people live.

She said: “We would be regarded as the waste capital of Nottinghamshire and I don’t think it would do our reputation any good.”

Instead, Coun Turner, who was an active campaigner against plans for a landfill site at Bentinck Void near Annesley, is suggesting that an ERF could be built at an existing power station because it would have the necessary infrastructure and, crucially, power stations are not usually close to homes.

She added: “We have power stations in Nottinghamshire that are out of the way and away from people.”

A public consultation into the Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Waste Core Strategy is set to be launched later this month, with residents from both the county and city, including Bulwell, being asked to give their views on how waste should be managed.

In a Cabinet report, officers at County Hall said that a ‘do nothing approach’ is not possible because the county is running out of landfill space and tax on dumping waste is rising.

Although the council hopes to increase recycling rates, the report also states that the Waste Core Strategy ‘should promote further energy recovery where this would help to divert waste from landfill’.

The document goes on to list ‘broad locations’ where these facilities could be built — and it includes Hucknall, Sutton and Kirkby.

Coun Richard Butler (Con), the county council’s lead member for environment and sustainability, said: “Both the county council and Nottingham City Council are looking for feedback from residents when the Waste Core Strategy goes out to consultation.

“The consultation is taking a strategic view to look at which areas of the county will need more waste-management capacity, but it is not about specific site locations at this stage.

“No sites have yet been earmarked and proposals for actual site locations will follow once the broad approach of the strategy has been agreed.

“They, too, will go through the same rigorous consultation process.”