Labour Candidate John Grogan Promises to Fight Aire Valley Incinerator
The Labour Party candidate for Keighley has vowed to fight the building of a waste incinerator in the Aire Valley if elected.
John Grogan is against the Aire Valley Waste to Energy Plant, planned at Marley, a development backed by sitting Tory MP Kris Hopkins
In April 2014 planning permission was granted for three Waste to Energy plants on the site of the former Gas Works on Airedale Road. There were only 11 objections.Mr Grogan said:”In April 2015 just before the General Election I welcomed the announcement of investment into Keighley as a result of that planning permission.
“Unfortunately the company concerned, Keighley Clean Energy, had not done their homework properly. They subsequently submitted a very different planning application which reduced the number of plants to two and significantly increased the size of the buildings.
“A council committee decided in August 2015 to unanimously reject the application on the grounds of its visual impact on the Aire Valley and on nearby East Riddlesden Hall, which is an important local employer and tourist attraction.
“They were of the opinion that these factors outweighed possible economic benefits.
“Had I been elected as Keighley's MP in 2015 I would have supported that decision.
“In February 2017 a company now called Endless Energy received approval for a planning application which to my mind was not very different to that which had been rejected in 2015.
“The height of the buildings and the chimney stack were much the same as had been suggested previously. It is noteworthy that the National Trust which owns East Riddlesden Hall maintained its objection.
“In addition Bradford Council's Landscape Officer outlined his continuing concerns including the visual impact of the plume from the chimney stack.
“I think the committee was ill advised to change their decision from that taken in 2015. My own opinion is that there were sufficient grounds to reject the application using similar arguments to those employed in August 2015.
“I will therefore oppose the development if I am elected as Keighley's Member of Parliament.
“Some of the evidence regarding environmental issues which are the responsibility of the Environment Agency rather than the Council requires further investigation.
“An MP has a duty to act upon the concerns of their constituents. If elected as Keighley's MP I will commit to make it my number one priority to become a member of the House of Commons Select Committee on the Environment.
“I will seek to persuade the Committee to start an urgent inquiry into the economic, environmental and health impacts of Waste to Energy Plants nationwide.
“This matter affects not just Keighley but many areas and needs to be placed higher up the national agenda. I would expect the Environment Agency to consider the findings of the Select Committee as they carry out their statutory duties.
“I would seek to meet with them every two months to monitor their actions. I will work with others to ensure they take into account all available evidence.”
- News Editor
- Keighley Local News