Here is my response to this important consultation from the Environment Agency on the Shepshed Incinerator. By way of background, this was rejected by the County Council, before being given planning permission by Tory Secretary of State Eric Pickles who went on to a £40,000 a year role with a waste management company.
As the Labour Candidate for the Loughborough Constituency at the next general election I have been contacted by people from across Loughborough and Shepshed with sincere and justified concerns about the construction of this incinerator.
The location of the proposed incinerator is highly proximate to the M1 at a well populated area along that key road with the large towns of Shepshed and Loughborough very close-by.
It is well known that the air quality in the area around the M1 is poor. The very heavy traffic leads to high amounts of nitrous oxide and particulate matter, along with the CO2 emissions that are produced.
The incinerator will only add to these pollutants in a way that can only deteriorate the quality of the air breathed by local residents.
Local families who already have to breath the substandard air caused by traffic on the M1 and other trunk roads in the area will be forced to breath yet poorer air. Particular concern has to be had for those living down-wind of the proposed site.
Loughborough is by quite some considerable distance the leading elite sporting university in the country if not the world with a considerable number of world leading athletes training there. This deterioration in air quality will be of significant detriment to the air they breath. Those using the world leading, multimillion pound facilities at the university will be inevitably exposed to the detriment resulting from the deterioration in the local air quality.
It is unclear how a proper assessment of these health impacts can allow the incinerator to proceed.
The location of the incinerator is inappropriate given the many populations that will be inevitably impacted by its construction. The below table is from the Local Air Quality Protection Group (http://www.laqpg.org.uk/).
It is clear that this incinerator will have damaging impact on a disproportionate number of people from groups that include children, the elderly, and the most elite sportsmen and women in the world.
The people of Loughborough and Shepshed have long since become reconciled to living next to one of the busiest transport arteries in the country, the M1. Indeed many people live incredibly close to this very busy motorway. This has public health impacts, notably respiratory impacts, that are undeniable. It is also undeniable that there will be further deterioration as a result of the presence of this incinerator.
The impacts are disproportionate and indefensible. There must be far more appropriate locations further away from such populations.
Place at Risk People at risk Distance in km
Longcliffe Golf Club Outdoor sportsmen/women 1.1
Longcliffe Nursing Home Elderly people 1.8
Nanpantan Pre-school Children at play outdoors 2.0
Nanpantan Scouts Children at play outdoors 2.1
Watermead Nursery Children at play outdoors 2.2
Nanpantan Sports Fields
– Football, Cricket Outdoor sportsmen/women 2.2
Brush Bowls Club 2.2
Loughborough Tennis Club Open-air sportsmen/women 2.2
– Holywell Pitches Open-air sportsmen/women 2.3
Holywell Primary School Children at play outdoors 2.5
Charnwood College Children at play outdoors 2.5
Booth Wood Primary School Children at play outdoors 2.5
Ashby Ward – Charnwood Residents 2.5
Nanpantan Ward – Charnwood Residents 2.8
– Cricket Ground Open-air sportsmen/women 3.0
– All-weather Pitches Open-air sportsmen/women 3.0
– Athletics Track Open-air sportsmen/women 3.0
Mountfields Primary School Children at play outdoors 3.9
Loughborough Hospital Infirm people 3.7
– Sheltered Housing etc Elderly people 3.9
Planned Garendon Park SUE Residents 1.0 – 1.5
Planned Science & Enterprise Parks Employees 1.5 – 2.0
DNRC Stamford Hall Infirm people 9