Thatcham Good Life

I'm a representative of a residents group being formed to challenge a proposed development of an Energy from Waste incinerator in the village of Curridge, just outside Newbury. The group, called West Berkshire Against Grundon Incinerator, held an open meeting at the Curridge WI Hall last Wednesday (26th) in order to help raise awareness. We believe the facility is not required in West Berkshire as we already have a long term contract for municipal waste. We also believe it will affect villages across a wide geographical area and negatively impact the North Wessex Downs, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We are looking to build relationships with other local village groups so that we can effectively reach a wide cross section of local residents. Essentially we want village representatives who could act as a point of contact for us within the local community. Would the Thatcham Good Life be willing to support us in our efforts and is there a contact, or contacts, who we could use to pass on information and communications to? Thanks for your help.
31/1/2011 10:22:14 pm

I suspect that, as West Berkshire is a very affluent area, we generate a huge amount of waste which has to go somewhere. Landfill costs are huge with high EU penalty charges on top. Grundon can obviously see a good market locally so if one doesn't get built at Chieveley it is likely to be built somewhere else.

West Berkshire also has very little space for landfill sites and loads of NIMBYs so incineration is the logical alternative, especially with power generation. Perhaps we should start a campaign to stop local people buying so much tat and the most effective place to do this would be the most affluent areas like, er, Chieveley!

The polluter should always pay and in this case we are the polluters by producing so much waste. Either reduce our waste or come up with somewhere to safely dispose of our waste to good effect within our own boundaries. We don't have the right to foist our own rubbish on some one else.

31/1/2011 10:24:24 pm

I recently moved to Lower Way in Thatcham, and live in a flat, with three other flats. Not a single one of them use the recycling bins I ordered for all of us- it seems crazy. It is very frustrating, and the kind of action which gets ideas like the need for an incinerator started in the first place!

I would love to hear of any ideas or incentives to encourage people- (especially in my flats!) to recycle! I work in the Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham as you know, and we are about to start a 'Sustainability' trail as part of the RSPB education here- but it is available to the public too. Maybe we could have an 'opening' of this, and I am more than happy to do a talk for locals about recycling. We have a great facility on site here- which is a huge recycling centre- with so much information on it- but it seems very under used. We definitely need to highlight it and bring attention to it so that people use it more. We always work with Veolia too, on the Cleaner, Greener Days, so approaching them may be beneficial too.

I would love to hear any suggestion as to how we can reach the people who think recycling is too much hassle or pointless!

31/1/2011 10:27:15 pm

I too have a suspicious mind, but am an even greater cynic, when it comes to people's attitude towards Climate Change. One third of the population of the UK (50% of US) do not even believe it is happening. Only 15-20% are prepared to modify there lifestyles - evident by the poor take-up of the 'Greening Campaigns'.

I would beware of such requests for support from these groups, who are pure NIMBY's, only wanting to protect the value of their properties, with precious little real concern for the incineration of waste, when they are perfectly content to dump their rubbish in land-fill sites and not recycle (only about 20% of households in West Berkshire recycle).

31/1/2011 10:30:19 pm

Thanks for forwarding on the request. I would be interested to review Grundon's planning application or proposal if/when it is available.

I will keep an open mind to their proposal. It can be argued that incinerators reduce the greenhouse gas emissions due to them avoiding the release of methane from land-fill sites, and of course there is growing pressure on sourcing suitable locations for land-fill.

I would be more inclined to focus on the technology that Grundon propose for the incinerator and to ensure that it utilises best-practice and any particulate discharge is minimsed. Arguments about the dangers of particulates are quite polarised and whilst there are many worrying stories about their dangers (1,2) on the other hand it is argued that modern incinerators emit lower dioxins than burning garden rubbish. I dont' really know which side to believe but note that there have been incinerators operating in the middle of other European cities (such as Vienna) for many years. I suspect there will be more particulates being emitted from the adjacent M4 than the incinerator.

The incinerator will generate 29MW (3) which if run continously through the year would offset approximately 127,000 tonnes of CO2 year (4) generated from existing fossil fuel plants or the equivalent electrical consumption of around 45,000 houses.


29 MW

29000 kW

8760 hours/year
254040000 kWh/year

0.5 kg CO2/kWh
127020000 kg CO2/year
127020 t CO2/year

15 kWh/day/house (guess)
5475 kWh/year/house

46400 houses

31/1/2011 10:35:05 pm

Hello to all,
I think that open discussion is important and we must do everything we can to establish the facts about the application, improve the knowledge of local people about the waste to energy processes, any local people speaking on this subject must be able to do so without emotion taking over.
We should provide them with a platform on which they can get information so they are less likely to be influenced by national or local media, politicians etc .
Having experienced the Membury Turbine application during which arguments based on total ignorance of modern turbine technology, the influence of vested commercial interests, Political influences as well as local politics and personalities etc. These were all ranged against the project; any science or logical argument was totally ignored. So much of the counter evidence was subjective not based on science and was not required to be proven to the same or any degree as in the application documents. They even took account of applications that might be made in the future on surrounding land; which even today 3 years on have not been brought forward.
I say this to warn of the pitfalls of the 'planning lottery' which I am guessing that many people are aware. These become deeper the closer to the county boarder the application is, myself and I suspect Ken are only too aware that Membury and Greenham could well be in line. I know that West Berks sees Membury and I suspect Greenham as a dumping ground for problem projects close to the Wiltshire and Hampshire borders (less voters affected!!). I am also aware that WBC and the local Parish Council are suggesting that the Membury Services access roads should become M4 Junction 14A. This is in order to divert some of the 200+ lorries per day that go to Membury (residence census) You need not be a 'brain surgeon' to work out what J14A that might bring. The status of the AONB is largely meaningless especially if the applicant promises jobs (22 seems the magic number).
I have not read much about the application at Cheiveley, but I would tend to agree with Ken and would advise those most affected to work with the applicants. As the LVSF we worked with the Membury project and inspite of what the Parish Council think we achieved a lot for the community (had it been approved). Do all they can to understand their case and work with them to get the best results for the area. WB do little to help; more usually doing the opposite to what you think they are going to do. I do not think that there is any reason why we as individual groups or as WBGE should not disseminate information both fore and against in order to help Cheiveley get the right result. While it is important to get people involved either way do not depend on pressure groups/ objectors outside the area; local opinion is more important. This I suspect will be more true with the HMG promoting Localism but which way that goes I wouldn't like to guess.
As a constructive suggestion I believe Grundon or some other waste companies do host conducted tours of working plants in other parts of the country; maybe the WBGE could organise a visit.

1/2/2011 02:01:48 am

What would be the negative impact on "outlying villages"? Is it better to bury waste than burn it? I think our waste contractor already uses one so they would (presumably) not use it? Do we know what actually is burned there and and may be in the Grundon one? In my view we should work to have as little waste as possible but what we do with that which we cannot recycle is vexatious and burning should be considered, not refused as a matter of principle or dogma.

2/2/2011 11:14:54 pm

29MW of despatchable power generation is a useful amount of power. Whilst sill rather insignificant compared to the 40,0000-60,000MW of electricty consumed by the nation this is sufficient to provide electricity to 45,000 houses. Put this another way, this is about the number of houses in Newbury and Thatcham. or Alternatively, this would need 52 wind turbines (each at 2MW rated capacity with 28% load-factor) each with a height of about 100m. And we all know about the difficult of getting even 1 turbine installed!

30/3/2011 03:37:30 pm

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30/3/2012 08:22:41 pm

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25/8/2012 02:10:39 pm

How old is this post?


Energy from Waste incinerator sounds really good to me. But, are we going to implement any of this or just discuss about it?


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