Friday, 29 May 2009

Greens oppose new facilities to handle Brighton's waste outside the city

Communities in both Newhaven and Peacehaven are bracing themselves for the impact of major developments to handle Brighton and Hove's waste: an incinerator at North Quay, Newhaven, to burn the city's rubbish, and a sewage treatment works at Peacehaven to treat the city's waste water.

Both are an affront to the basic principles that waste should be minimised (I'm saying we should throw less away, not go to the toilet less!) and handled as close as possible to where it is produced.

Today I received an email from a Peacehaven resident who wasn't sure what the Green Party's view on these developments, presumably confused by the claims of Brighton Kemptown's Labour and Tory MP wannabes to oppose them when both are going ahead thanks to the nods of our Labour government and Tory-run East Sussex County Council.

Let me be clear: we are absolutely opposed to both the proposed incinerator at Newhaven and the planned sewage treatment works at Peacehaven, but without representation on East Sussex County Council, or in Government, our objections, like those of affected residents, have been ignored.

Green councillors here in Brighton and Hove have consistently opposed the Waste Management Contract for Brighton and Hove, which ties the city into a long-term deal with Veolia to keep the proposed incinerator in business.

We think the city should be adopting strategies to boost recycling and reduce the amount of rubbish it produces that needs any sort of disposal, and that the incinerator will encourage exactly the opposite.

Further, we believe the proposed incinerator is poorly sited, potentially unsafe, socially decisive, and, possibly only viable thanks to unlawful funding arrangements with Brighton and Hove City Council: the region's Green Party MEP Dr Caroline Lucas has made a formal complaint to the European Commission about this and we await the outcome of that.

I myself made these arguments while giving evidence on Dr Lucas's behalf at last year's public inquiry into the compulsory purchase of land at North Quay, Newhaven, for the incinerator.

As for the sewage treatment plant, we believe a solution must be found that allows Southern Water to treat Brighton and Hove's sewage within the city limits, and will not require the 'export' of our waste into East Sussex. We have pushed for this at every stage, and made our views known to both Southern Water and publicly.

1 comment:

  1. you might not be represented on east sussex county council to stop the peacehaven sewage plant as you claim you want to, but you have control over the planning elements in brighon and hove's terrirory. you CAN stop it happening. I never thought i'd see the day when the GREENs advocated ripping up greenfield land in preference to brownfield alternatives in league with Southern Water. PROVE YOUR GREEN CREDENIALS. I suspect a politician is just another politician whatever their party colour.