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Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Judas Kiss for St Dennis

Apparently, when it comes to St Dennis, Cllr Lance Kennedy 'understands the concerns of local people'. Although he was originally against the idea of an incinerator he has seen the light because: 
 '...the hard facts are that we can’t afford to delay any longer.  The Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre has been thoroughly tested through the planning and legal processes over the past six years and has been found to be acceptable ...'
The only people that have found the project acceptable are the Cabinet, officers and their friends in Whitehall.
By way of compensation the cabinet has agreed to find £200,000 per year for the local community during the construction period and then £125,000 per year during the lifetime of the incinerator. So that's ok then.
There are at least two problems with this neat solution.
First, the compensation, clearly thoroughly deserved and needed by St Dennis residents, is another addition to the mushrooming costs of the retrograde, environmentally toxic, white elephant incinerator. The whole project is becoming more and more a financial burden to the people of Cornwall rather than the economic saviour that we are led to believe that it is designed to be. The Cornwall Waste Forum has exploded the myth that an incinerator is the only alternative and their technical experts have produced their own, fully costed and researched alternative that would be many times better for the environment - for a fraction of the cost. 
This project has already cost the people of Cornwall millions of pounds. What other costs have been hidden by a cabinet that is not prepared to listen to anyone but the unelected officers? Why are the councillors that make up the cabinet so determined to waste our money to fund an environmental disaster?
The second problem is that St Dennis's blood money, their 'Judas Kiss' simply won't even scratch the surface of the problems that the community will face. Rod Toms, a biological scientific expert, member of Cornwall Waste Forum and MK councillor has listed some of the myriad and disparate problems that will be facing the people of the village:
1) Physical illness. A Government ex-Minister said that, averaged out, individual incinerators could play a major part in seven deaths and fourteen hospital admisions per year as a result of pollution. Main culprits being soot and very small particles down to 100,000 of an inch that just pass clean through the skin and into the vital organs (Nano-particulates). Small particles of heavy metals of which the most dangerous are Chromium (cancer forming) Mercury and Lead (cause mental illness in growing children). PCBs (Dioxins) and PFCs (Furans) from plastic which interupt gland secretions and can lead to adult male sterility and lowered immune response in children.
2) Mental Illness. The stress of living adjacent to such a large  plant that you cannot escape from is already showing signs of effect (The Village has been blighted with the prospect of the development for at least 10 years).
3) Property blight. Estate Agents estimate that the value of properties in St. Dennis are about half the Cornish average.People who wish to move away cannot do so because they cannot produce enough equity to afford another property. Several affordable housing developments including a large housing association have been unable to let new build properties in St. Dennis
4) Bullying. School children are reporting that they have been taunted for a number of years by being called St. Dennis Dustbins
5) Air Quality. The Cornwall Air Quality Forum (Exeter University) stated in 2009 that the Air Quality in St. Dennis was only just below permitted levels due to China Clay Dust. As a result respiratory diseases were higher than average in St. Dennis. The situation was slightly improved when Clay production began to fall, but the Health Protection Agency and the Cornwall Air Quality Forum have been silent about what the effect of a combination of Clay Dust and Incinerator Emissions will be.
6) Physical Impact. The building which will house the furnace and the second part which will shelter the ash plant are enormous. They are only a few hundred yards from the village main street and the stack at 400 feet will tower over everything (It can be seen from over ten miles away and will be the biggest man made structure in Cornwall) In the attached photomontage of the High Street the red dot to the side of the stack is the actual balloon which was flown to indicate the height. It is the size of a Mini
7) Airborne debris. material fed into the Incinerator is only held there for two seconds. As a result quite a bit remains unburned and has to be fed through up to two or three times. Workers at Sita plants in the North have told us that "Yellow Pages are the worst". This material has to be moved around by front loaders and is bound to cause debris to be blow away.
8) Noise. The Plant is a massive industrial site and furnace operating twenty four-seven. The stack is fitted with a silencer, but this will deteriorate over time. The furnace is a blast furnace with air driven through it by a series of fans, and it makes a roaring noise. The ash is continuously extracted as it falls into a quenching tank and travels up an overhead conveyor to the ash plant. 8 am to 6 pm five and a half days per week there will be vehicle and loader movements on site.
10) Vehicle Movements In addition to waste lorries arriving and leaving the site, there will be bulk artics carrying bottom ash, and dust tankers carrying dangerous fly ash. There will also be deliveries of supplies, massive low loaders on several occaisions per year with spare parts (the plant needs to shut for three weeks every year so that the boilers can be replaced as they get eaten away by hot acid gas).
Staff cars will also be coming and going and this gives a total of about 300 vehicle movements per day or more than one lorry every two minutes.
11) Light Pollution. Because it is on the main approach to Newquay Airport the stack has to be fitted with bright aircraft warning lights. In addition the site will be brightly lit at night for security reasons.
12) Lack of regeneration. At the Public Inquiry, Cornwall Council gave evidence that the effect of the Incinerator would be to deter new modern businesses from coming to the area to start up. This loss would many times outweigh the handfull of jobs that the Incinerator would create.
13) Effect on existing businesses. Firms already in the area and particularly farmers, would be blighted by the fact that their products would be seen as contaminated. Farmers and Market Gardeners would not be alowed to apply for organic status to the Soil Association.
14) Quality of Life. In addition to all the above nobody would choose to live next to an incinerator. Nobody would want their children to grow up near one, nobody would want to play on the local sports field. 

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