Helen Bach: Corby waste plant decision shows no-one is listening to us

Protesters outside the Cube in Corby in April 2013
Protesters outside the Cube in Corby in April 2013

Well, so much for localism. It turns out that you can have your say, but nobody listens.

I’m talking about the decision announced on Tuesday to permit the lifting of the 30-mile limits on from where waste can be brought into two waste processing plants in Corby.

This, sadly, means that the two waste plants will probably now go ahead – a gasification plant on Gretton Brook Road, adjacent to the Brookfield site, and a pyrolysis plant and an anaerobic digester at Shelton Road.

For more than two years we’ve been campaigning against these plans in their various forms, and have had some success where Corby Council was concerned.

Unfortunately, Northamptonshire County Council is the waste authority, and it has decreed that these limits should be lifted.

Even though we, the locals, didn’t want that. Nearly 2,000 signatures were received on paper and online petitions and 120 individual objections were lodged against the Gretton Brook Road plans.

Corby Council didn’t want these limits lifted either. But the development control committee at NCC has decided that our concerns should be ignored.

Concerns which ranged from emissions from the sites and the HGVs transporting waste from such huge distances, to the fears of the people living next to the Gretton Brook Road plant, and for the wildlife and trees in the neighbouring Brookfield woodland.

Waste plants are notorious for catching fire – the BBC reported 360 fires at such facilities last year.

The impact on the people and animals living near this plant would be devastating should similar fires occur here.

These rulings effectively open the floodgates to us receiving waste from as far away as Kent, and from 15 counties that surround Northamptonshire and even further afield.

As usual, it’s all about money. These will be run by private companies, making huge profits at our expense, while offering us a handful of jobs sorting rubbish in return.

Corby had done a great job of regenerating itself; such a shame NCC – situated in the south of the county – couldn’t see that.

Read more from Helen here.