The Planning Committee meeting to decide on the application to build an ‘Energy Centre’ at Keypoint in South Marston has been set for 6pm on Thursday 14 September at STEAM.
Developers Rolton Kilbride originally approached the Council in February of last year with plans to build a ‘Renewable Energy Centre’ to process 150,000 tonnes of domestic waste a year. They maintain the plant would be a source of clean energy, making use of ‘gasification’ technology to generate energy. The waste would be heated to drive off flammable gases which would then be burnt separately to produce steam and drive a generator.
The proposal has been viewed with alarm by nearby residents who formed SKIP – Stop Keypoint Incinerator Project – last summer. The SKIP group has been vocal in its opposition to what it describes as ‘simply a waste incinerator’, organising public meetings and submitting a petition with over 3,000 signatures against the plans. “One councillor said that he’d never received so much mail about one issue.,” says Barrie Jennings, a parish councillor and member of the SKIP committee.
Issues raised by SKIP include pollution and risk to health, the impact of a 52 metre (170 foot) chimney stack which they quote a Council officer as saying would “have a significant effect on the local landscape”, as well as the increase in heavy traffic. SKIP also say the developers’ claims that the plant would reduce greenhouse gas emissions are based on faulty calculations.
Council planning officers are finalising their recommendations which will be published shortly before the Planning Committee meets to consider the application and approve or reject it. SKIP are encouraging those who object to the proposal to attend. “The more people who turn up,” says Maureen Dilley, one of the campaigners, “the better our chance of getting it stopped.” Things look set for a lively meeting on the 14th.
SKIP has a website at www.skip2016.com with further information and recordings of interviews on swindon1055.com. People can also send an e-mail to email@example.com to keep informed of the campaign.
For more information contact Robert Ayres, chair SKIP residents’ group RAStratton@btinternet.com (01793) 823181