Incinerator: Letter from a (normally) uninvolved local resident


I have lived in Milton Road for 34 years. I have experienced the changes to Sutton Courtenay over that period and have quietly got on with my village life but now I am shouting as loud as I possibly can, objecting to Spanish owned company WRG’s proposal for a mega waste incinerator in our village, which, evidently, some of our county councillors and officials seem to think is a good idea.

On the contrary, the proposal for an incinerator is MAD, BAD and DANGEROUS.


It is MAD because, as a means for Oxfordshire residents to get rid of their waste it makes no economic sense whatever. Our landfill rates have already decreased, thus **potentially** avoiding or reducing EU fines; Alternatives to incineration, which other councils are using, can be around £30 per tonnes cheaper; and here is the clever bit for WRG, if we can’t produce enough rubbish to keep the incinerator running we will have to pay penalties. Money will be taken out of our pockets as council tax and handed over to Spanish millionaires. Or, worse still, the amount of other people’s rubbish we will have to import will increase and we know what that means for traffic and noise.

It is BAD because the proposal contravenes every one of the County Council’s own environmental policy statements which promise that development will not cause unacceptable damage to the local landscape, biodiversity; cultural and historic heritage or be at risk from flooding. Just how is a 95m (300ft) chimney protecting the general landscape or maintaining the beauty of our listed and historic buildings? How are incinerator buildings on their nesting, wintering and breeding sites going to protect rare birds and other species? How is it non-risky to bury hazardous waste in a flood zone, which is how part of the site is designated by the Environment Agency?

It is DANGEROUS because the new generation of mega incinerators have not been thoroughly studied for health risks although evidence is beginning to emerge that these could be considerable. Very small particles cannot be trapped by filters and these escape from incinerator chimneys. These particles are linked to heart and lung disease, especially in children. Toxic waste trapped in filters will have to be buried at the SC site. It is probable that these poisons will eventually pollute the Thames and hence water supplies. Some claim that all will be well if the incinerator is operated properly but unfortunately WRG are known to have breached pollution limits at “””its only other**** =another incinerator site in the UK (Eastcroft); and we all know how good they can be at managing the landfill site!

Despite, the incinerator being mad, bad and dangerous, the best thing that can be said about the majority of our County Councillor’s views on this is that their heads are buried in the sand – or should that be toxic ash? They seem to think locals have been consulted because WRG presented exhibitions, they ignore the unanimous opposition from elected representatives on Parish councils and the Vale of White Horse District Council and they seem to think that by refusing to debate alternatives to the incinerator themselves they are acting democratically.

What can be done? I urge everyone in Sutton Courtenay to sign the petition against the incinerator or a paper copy at Burgrey Stores. Get your friends and family to do so – remember the pollution will spread for many miles/kilometres.

If you can please write objections to County Councillors, the County Planning Office, MPs and anyone you think will influence the decision and get this proposal thrown out.

Yours, a no longer silent villager

Dr Pauline Wilson


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