Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for an application to extend the catchment area for a new gasification plant to be turned down.
A proposal to build the plant in Gretton Brook Road was approved in 2009, but developers have submitted plans to Northamptonshire County Council to enlarge the area from which waste can be collected for processing there.
The original plans were for a 30-mile catchment area, but to make the scheme viable developers want to extend that to anywhere outside London which is within 90 minutes’ driving time.
That would mean a catchment area of almost 10,000 square miles, as opposed to the original 3,000.
Earlier this week, Corby Council voted to register its opposition to the plans. And more than 250 people have signed an online petition calling on the proposals to be thrown out.
Among those who have signed it are Thomas Oliff of Corby, who said: “I was born in Corby in 1946 and grew up breathing in poor quality air from the steelworks. Let’s make Corby a fresher, greener place for future generations.”
Peter Rotherton of Gretton added: “Corby is working hard to transform from the spoilt industrial landscape of the steelworks to a pleasant place to live set in fantastic countryside. Corby has done its bit – don’t use it as a dumping ground.”
Opponents say Northamptonshire already imports more waste than it produces and that extending the catchment area would both increase traffic pollution and cause potential bottlenecks in Corby.
That theme has been echoed by Weldon and Gretton’s two ward councillors, who have said they are pleased the council committee voted unanimously to oppose the plans.
Cllr Phil Bromhall said he was not opposed to the concept of converting waste into energy, but added: “My feeling is they should stick to the 30-mile radius and certainly not extend it beyond that.
“For a comparatively small borough we have had a large number of waste projects and it does seem that Corby is picked on.
“We should handle our fair share of waste – the material we deal with should be, in the main, locally sourced. We ought to do our share but not pick up other people’s.”
He also said it needed to be established whether a 90-minute drive catchment area was as far as an HGV or a car could get in an hour-and-a-half. Meanwhile, Cllr Rob McKellar told Tuesday’s Corby council meeting: “Broadening the catchment area will mean that a vehicle will be travelling considerably further to deliver waste to the Corby area, generating unnecessary pollution across the East Midlands.”
Following the meeting, he said: “I am thrilled that we have won the argument over the Gretton Brook gasification plant at borough level.
“We now must fight this at county level.
“We defeated the Brookfield Waste Plant and we have now won the battle over the Gretton Brook plant at the first phase. Our task now is to block the application at the county phase.
“We will fight all the way to County Hall and do everything in our power to save Corby and its surrounding villages from being turned into the nation’s dumping ground.”
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