BY JAMES TWOMEY
At least one school has not been consulted about a proposed energy park incinerator which will increase the amount of pollutants in the air.
Cory Riverside Energy is planning to add an additional incinerator plant to its current site in Belvedere but it has come under fire from MPs and wildlife trusts because it will produce harmful chemicals.
The St Augustine of Canterbury CofE School, in St Augustines Road, Belvedere, which is 1.5 miles from the proposed energy park site, had not been informed of its construction despite a report from Cory Riverside Energy stating that pollutants such as arsenic, nickel and nitrogen dioxide would increase.
Mark Alexander-Smale, principal of St Augustine School, said: “We have not been informed about this. My office staff are diligent in passing on things that come to school admin, so I doubt whether they have missed this.
“We were consulted about an electricity mast that was going to be erected just behind the school about three years ago and we objected to this development, which has not gone any further.
“We also requested and gained the support of Teresa Pearce, our local MP. I will then assess the risk to our stakeholders and consider petitioning against.”
Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, said: “I have registered my interest with the planning inspectorate as I am very concerned about the damage that may be done to Crossness Wildlife Park that sits alongside the Cory site.
“I also share the Mayor’s concerns that we need to be increasing recycling and reducing the amount of rubbish created and therefore I am unconvinced that this development is needed.”
Energy park incinerators take household waste and burn it at high temperatures to generate energy but there are concerns about the gases that get released into the air as a result.
Donna Zimmer, campaigner for the Crossness Wildlife Park, said: “I oppose this application due to its large visual intrusion right next to Crossness Nature Reserve and it’s effect on the biodiversity and wildlife.
“I agree with the London Mayor that London does not need more incineration as it is better to reduce waste, re-use and recycle. As a local resident I am very concerned about the pollution this energy park would create”
A spokeswoman for Thames Water said: “This proposed development would have a significant impact on the bordering Crossness Nature Reserve, which we proudly own and maintain. As custodians of the environment, protecting this valuable green space and helping the public to enjoy it is vital.”
Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, said: “I strongly opposed the existing Riverside Resource Recovery Facility on environmental grounds, as I was unconvinced by the need to incinerate waste so close to heavily populated areas given the effect on the environment and particularly on air quality.
“I understand the concerns that have been raised by some regarding the additional facility and the potential impact on the environment and the residents of Bexley borough, and I have therefore written to the Planning Inspectorate to ensure these concerns are fully taken into account.”
Cory Riverside Energy say there were two periods of public consultation carried out in the spring and summer of 2018, with a total of 11 public events.
Julian Walker, chief operating officer at Cory Riverside Energy, said: “Over two million tonnes of London’s non-recyclable waste is currently sent to landfill or shipped overseas, so London has a clear waste infrastructure capacity gap which urgently needs investment.
“Our proposed Energy Park will play a significant part in addressing this shortfall and is wholly policy compliant, delivering sustainable waste management, increasing renewable, low carbon energy generation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
We will not have any detrimental effect on the recycling targets set in adopted and emerging policy. Indeed, Cory is committed to recycling and we’ve invested significant sums in London’s recycling infrastructure.”