Campaigners say changes to Beddington ERF plans are not enough
4:00pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
Plans to build a controversial incinerator have been altered to cut emissions and benefit the community nearby.
But campaigners say the planned energy recovery facility (ERF) for Beddington, which will burn rubbish from Sutton, Merton, Kingston and
Croydon to produce electricity and heat for residents, is still a bad idea and the concessions announced this week are merely "confectionery".
Sutton Council's planning department is currently analysing the new plans from Viridor to build the ERF on the Beddington Lane landfill site.
Viridor submitted plans last year but Sutton Council asked for improvements on the grounds the site is a protected area.
Viridor this week came back with a list of proposed improvements changes including cutting emissions from the plant.
A spokesman said: "Following discussions with the London Borough of Sutton, a number of additional measures have been submitted.
"The primary amendment is that the overall daily average emission limits have been further tightened.
"These measures will help to provide a safe and secure solution to South London’s waste challenge."
Beddington Lane and the area around is subject to an air quality management order but Viridor's revised plan says the ERF will contribute less than one per cent more pollution - so little as to be negligible, it says.
Part of the way Viridor says it will decrease emissions by making the ERF's chimney higher, from 85m to 95m, meaning the emissions will go into higher air streams and be dispersed more quickly.
When the Beddington Lane landfill site shuts down it will be landscaped and become part of the Wandle Valley Regional Park.
Viridor has pledged to supply and pay a warden for the site, has supplied extra land to make up for the three hectares of the 93 hectare site the ERF would be built on and will do further environmental work including providing habitat for sparrows.
A spokesman for campaigners Stop the Incinerator said: "They're trying to buy the community with these bits of confectionery - a sweetie here, a sweetie there.
"A few sparrow boxes don't make a difference at all when in 20 years time lorries will be coming from all over the place with waste as recycling goes up."
Sutton Council has taken the revised plans and is assessing and consulting on them with a view to making a decision on the application in April.
A council spokesman said: ""These proposals will now be subject to a rigorous fact checking process before a recommendation is put to Sutton Council’s planning committee in April. Local people can see the detail and have their say using our website."