The group also warns that building a new incinerator – which will burn thousands of tonnes of valuable resources every year to make it cost-effective – will undermine green waste policies, destroy jobs and saddle local councils with unknown financial liabilities for decades to come.
Friends of the Earth says the public consultation held by the developer Covanta was meaningless and that the application should have been rejected because under the Planning Act 2008 the developer should have consulted local people on the detail of its proposals before applying to the IPC. It is calling on the Infrastructure Planning Commission to set up special hearings where local people can quiz the developer.
The Merthyr Tydfil application is one of the first to pass through the UK Government’s new fast-track planning system.
Friends of the Earth’s Planning Campaigner Mike Birkin said:
"This application should have been rejected – the process denied local people their rights and their voice, and it will destroy jobs and send valuable resources up in smoke.
"The consultation for this incinerator provided no information on traffic levels, air pollution, wildlife or health – people living near Merthyr are still in the dark.
"This decision sends the wrong signal to developers across England and Wales – that they can ignore the views of local people on major projects set to go ahead in their own back yards.
"To ensure it doesn’t fail Merthyr even more, the Infrastructure Planning Commission must hold special hearings where the developer can be cross-examined by local people."
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