21 January 2022
Vara backs petition to Cambs Council opposing Waste Incinerator

Shailesh Vara MP continues to support local residents in Huntingdonshire who oppose a planning application for a waste energy recovery facility at the Envar Composting Site in Somersham.

On Tuesday 25th January 2022, County and District Cllr Steve Criswell will be presented with a petition against the planning application by representatives of the action group ‘People Opposing Woodhurst Incinerator’. Following this, Cllr Criswell will be proposing a supporting motion at the meeting of the County Council.

Waste management company Envar has put in a planning application for a Waste Energy Recovery Facility, which will include a 26-metre-high chimney stack at The Heath, Woodhurst.

Reasons for the objections include the height of the chimney stack, increased traffic which will lead to more road congestion, air pollution and increased noise.

There is also much concern about the impact from the plant’s chimney on local farm produce as well as the potential health risk for children attending a nearby nursery and preschool.

A decision on the planning application is expected by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Planning Committee within the next few weeks.

Mr Vara said:

“The proposed application is not suitable for this area and I, along with Cllr Steve Criswell and many other local people, am strongly against it.

“The proposals would mean an increase in plant traffic on already congested roads causing road safety concerns on the B1040 at the Wheatsheaf Crossroads.

“The emissions from the plant’s chimneys could have a major impact on local businesses especially farm produce, which could be contaminated. The incinerator also poses a health risk to young children at a nursery and preschool within close proximity of the site.

“I very much hope that the petition from local residents which Cllr Criswell will be presenting will be given the importance that it deserves and help persuade the planning authority to reject the application.”

Cllr Steve Criswell added:

“My motion to the Council is aimed at drawing attention to the level of public objections to the Envar application and to show support for those concerns. As we have seen from similar applications locally and across the country, there is real concern about the use of incinerators to dispose of waste. Until that national debate is concluded, we should not be allowing any more to be built.”