Friday, December 01, 2006

Saltend is best location

The decision of how to deal with household waste in the region is a political decision made by local politicians. Over the past few years politicians of all parties have moved to the conclusion that burning waste to produce electricity and increasing the amount we recycle is the best option for the City of Hull and the surrounding area.

The location of the incinerator at Saltend is by far the best for the vast majority of residents in the area. The site straddles both local authorities and so will require planning permission from both.

The planning application will be heard first by the East Riding in December and by Hull in early January.

The most likely outcome is that the East Riding planning committee will vote in favour of the development. This will put great pressure on the Hull planning committee.

A great staged managed affair is planned, the city hall has been booked and everyone who wants to will be allowed his or her say.

There seem little possibility Hull will pass the proposals despite both major political parties supporting the incinerator in internal group discussions.

Refusal of one committee will send the proposals to a planning inspector and probably a public enquiry. Given the lack of a listed building in the area the public enquiry will find in favour of the proposals and building will commence in the later part of the new year.

The problem with this scenario is the costs to the city of Hull. If the East Riding agree the proposals and delays are caused by Hull councillors all the subsequent costs will fall on the city. The cost of WRG’s appeal to the planning inspector and the cost of the city council defending the action will all be paid for by Hull residents.

Delay in opening the incinerator will cost tens of thousands of pounds per month. All of which will have to be borne by residents.

Whilst some people are not happy with the proposals the vast majority of residents in Hull and the East Riding are. Councillors on both planning committees should vote for the proposals, which are supported by residents, have the best financial results and is safe and environmentally sound.

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