LETTER: Reject blot on landscape

Your letters
Your letters

The incinerator proposed for north of Horsham would be a blot on the landscape and a blight on the people living in and visiting surrounding conurbations and countryside.

We unreservedly object to the application – an application which does not acknowledge let alone give any consideration to the recently approved development of 2,750 homes (to be occupied by some 6,600 men, women and children), primary and secondary schools, sports and recreational grounds, commercial premises, workers, etc., lying immediately adjacent to and downwind of the proposed facility.

The facility would constitute a conspicuous visual and physical industrialisation of the surrounding rural area. The facility would require hundreds of thousands of tons of industrial waste products to be transported in, for processing and incineration, from counties miles away; further increasing local road traffic and pollution and resulting in unmitigated detrimental impacts. Facilities for waste processing should be as close as possible to the places where waste arises and, as in this proposal, not from many miles away.

Even assuming emissions are fully monitored and kept within prescribed limits, as well as demonstrating that the proposed operation would increase short and long-term levels of multiple harmful (toxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, etc.) pollutants in the atmosphere and local environment, Table 7.19 of the Environmental Statement exposes a predicted ‘potentially significant’ long-term contribution to ground-level and environmental concentrations of:

Nitrogen Dioxide – which inflames the lining of the lungs, leading to breathing difficulties, reduced immunity to lung infections and reduced life expectancy. See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/411756/COMEAP_The_evidence_for_the_effects_of_nitrogen_dioxide.pdf

Arsenic – a toxic heavy metal, exposure to which can lead to chronic arsenic poisoning causing skin, bladder and lung cancer. See http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs372/en/

Manganese – exposure to elevated levels of manganese dust or fumes causes a Parkinson-like syndrome, including weakness, anorexia, muscle pain, apathy, slow speech, monotonous tone of voice, emotionless mask-like facial expression and slow, clumsy movement of the limbs. In general, these effects are irreversible. See http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/manganese.pdf

Nickel – a toxic heavy metal exposure to elevated levels of nickel dust and fumes causes allergic reactions in the skin and respiratory tract and asthma; inflammation of the lungs; cancer of the lung and nose, particularly the sinuses. See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg351.pdf

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons – the term covers more than 100 other substances, the adverse effects of which are many and varied. In general, PAH’s are carcinogen, mutagen and reproductive toxins which have been linked to skin, lung, bladder, liver and stomach cancers, cardiovascular disease and poor foetal development. Children are especially susceptible to absorption of PAH’s. See https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/Factsheet%20PAH_0.pdf

The West Sussex Waste Local Plan Policy W19 seeks to ensure that ... emissions will not have an unacceptable impact on public health and amenity. If not rejected beforehand the application should not be fully considered before Public Health England reports (expected in April) on recent studies into the potential impacts of waste incinerators on human health.

The application is in conflict with the prevailing landscape character of the locality of the site, will have a widespread visual impact and bring about a loss of tranquillity, with consequent failure to comply with the West Sussex Waste Local Plan Policies W11, W12 and W19 and the Horsham District Planning Framework Policies 25, 26 and 32.

Policy W19 seeks to ensure that lighting, noise, dust, odours and other emissions will not have an unacceptable impact on public health and amenity.

The proposed 24 hour a day operation would be a significant change from the existing operations on the site and would give rise to activity, noise, air and light pollution (including permanent bright red warning lights on the 95 metre high emission-exhaust flue stack) throughout the night.

Policy W11 requires proposals for waste development not to have an unacceptable impact on the character, distinctiveness, and sense of place of the different areas of the County and to reflect and, where possible, reinforce the character of the main natural character areas. Policy 25 seeks to protect the landscape character of the District against inappropriate development, and only supports development proposals that, among other things, protects, conserves and enhances landscape character.

Given the lack of local need, the variously detrimental impacts of the proposed works and the character and nature of the existing environment, it is unconscionable that the planning application has been made. It should be rejected.

C. Morris

Tennyson Close, Horsham

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