In the interests of balance I went to both the developer’s information event and the Gretton Parish Council public meeting about the Resource Recovery Park at Brookfield Plantation this weekend.
The developer’s information was very professional and slick, complete with glossy pictures and lots of technical talk.
The parish council’s was less slick, with some councillors sitting around a table and a corded microphone which nearly strangled the chairman on a couple of occasions when it was passed from person to person.
The turnout from the local area to this meeting was high, with about 200 people present.
What both these events demonstrated to me was that we don’t need slick presentations, we just need the truth, and people who are prepared to tell us it.
In yet another example of politicians putting aside party differences for the sake of the bigger picture (is there something in the water in Northamptonshire?!), we have borough councillors Rob McKellar (Conservative) and Phil Bromhall (Lib Dem) joining forces like a Gretton/Weldon version of David Cameron and Nick Clegg (but more likeable) to oppose the development of Brookfield Plantation.
From attending both meetings, I have come to the conclusion that the Resource Recovery Park isn’t a good idea because it’s destroying trees, flora and fauna in a designated Greenfield site.
A Greenfield site, incidentally, which Corby Council stated in a motion in 2008 that it would protect.
I can also tell you how close it is to residential areas – the Middle Age travellers who are adjacent, the Stephenson Way and Pen Green Lane residents who are 1.5km away, the villages of Gretton (2km), Priors Hall (2km), Weldon and Rockingham (both 3km away).
I can also tell you about the increase in the number of lorries which will visit the site every day, further clogging up our already busy, potholed roads in and around the town.
I would also ask you to consider these questions – can the developers guarantee there aren’t any dangerous materials buried under this site?
What are the long-term health implications of these gasification plants? Are they sustainable and actually good for the environment – because Friends of the Earth don’t seem to think so.
But, perhaps you don’t remain convinced. So in that case please have a read of the comments section on the planning application area of Corby Council’s website.
The National Grid has commented on the high-pressure gas pipeline which the developers propose to divert and about the cost and complexity of doing this.
The Health and Safety Executive has advised against the granting of planning permission in this case.
So it’s not just a bunch of tree-huggers, or NIMBYs worried about house prices, it’s also independent organisations with nothing to lose or gain by saying THIS REALLY ISN’T A GOOD IDEA.
This is an issue which affects us all, whether we live in the town or in the villages nearby. Objections can be made to Corby Council before March 4, 2013, by post or on line.
Read more from Helen here.