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21 January 2015, 06:48
A petition against a waste plant in Corby turning the surrounding area into a so called "dumping ground for the East Midlands" has already got hundreds signed up to it.
It accumulated more than 100 signatures within just a few hours of being launched.
The petition was launched by local councillor Rob McKellar at 7pm on Saturday January 17th and by 12 noon on Sunday it had already gathered 100 signatures.
Although the gasification plant received planning permission in 2009, developers now argue that the scheme will only be viable if the catchment area from which waste can be brought to the plant is extended from the 30 mile limit currently in place, to a much larger area spanning the whole of the East Midlands.
Objectors are calling upon Northamptonshire County Council to turn down the scheme, claiming that Corby should not be forced to handle waste from other areas across the region. Within the planning application the developer also asks for a 15% annual allowance which, if agreed, would see waste brought in from right across the United Kingdom.
Local councillor for the villages of Weldon and Gretton, Cllr Rob McKellar said, "Northamptonshire already imports twice the amount of waste that it exports. There is no requirement for a gasification plant here, it is purely a profit driven endeavour from the developers. Our opposition to this scheme is twofold - firstly, the expansion of the catchment area would turn Corby and its surrounding villages into the dumping ground for the East Midlands which is clearly undesirable.
"Secondly, the developer has made very clear in the planning application that if the catchment area is not expanded the scheme will not be viable; so this is essentially a second opportunity for us to block this unwanted waste plant which would produce a poisonous and highly explosive 'syngas' byproduct if it went ahead."
Developers argue that their scheme will create 60 local jobs, however Cllr McKellar has branded these claims as a "myth".
He said, "The original planning application makes very clear that there has been no practical assessment of the likely employment opportunities that will be generated. The application states that multipliers of 1.42 and 1.64 have been used and these refer to indirect and induced jobs meaning that the majority will not be in Corby but in the HGV industry and on sites of waste origin in other parts of the East Midlands. The reality is that there will be very little economic benefit for Corby."
The petition comes shortly after the controversial Brookfield Waste Plant was defeated. A petition against the Brookfield development attracted more than 1,200 signatures.
The new petition can be signed online here.