Campaigners Write To Government

9 June 2010, 08:09

The Marston Moretaine Action Group have written to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to find out the new coalition Government's stance on plans for an incinerator in the Marston Vale.

The campaigners say they're demanding a response from Chris Huhne, claiming there is a need to clarify the future of the Indfrastructure Planning Commission which would affect the proposals.

Covanta want to build an energy from waste plant at Rookery Pit near Stewartby to deal with waste from Buckinghamshire.

Hugh Roberts, the Chairman of the Marston Moretaine Action Group says: "We want him to clarify as a matter of urgency the future of the Infrastructure Planning Commission.  Because that determines whether the Covanta application has a future.

"The coalition Government has placed energy from waste through anearobic digestion as a centre-piece of its new renewable energy proposals.  Energy from waste through incineration is not part of that, so as a community we need to have clarity very quickly as to where we stand."

In response Covanta told us: "Energy-from-Waste is as much about sustainable energy as it is about waste disposal. There are two simple facts: we can't rely on fossil fuels forever and we cannot keep dumping rubbish in landfills. EfW is the solution to both these problems.

"We met with Chris Huhne some time before he became Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and he was not against EfW then. In his first major statement since taking office, he has stated that the two key responsibilities he faces are 'cutting dangerous carbon emissions and securing secure and reliable energy sources.' 

"Turning waste that cannot sensibly be recycled into energy can make an important contribution to these objectives.  We remain confident that our plans for the pit at Rookery South make both environmental and economic sense. We therefore do not believe the new Secretary of State will interfere with this process."

You can read the action group's letter to Mr Huhne below...


Chris Huhne
Secretary of State
Department of Energy & Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place

Date 14th May 2010

Dear Secretary of State,

The IPC, Covanta and Energy from Waste

Congratulations on your new appointment.

I am writing on behalf of the Marston Moreteyne Action Group, MMAG, a group of volunteers dedicated to sustainable communities and campaigning actively against plans by Covanta to build an enormous Energy from Waste plant in Rookery South Pit, Bedfordshire.

Covanta intend to submit an application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission at the end of July 2010.

We read with interest Section 11 of the Agreement on key policy areas of the Coalition Government which outlines that in respect of the environment the parties agreed to implement a full programme of measures to fulfil joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy, including inter alia:

• Measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion.

• Measures to promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity

The Coalition Government also agreed to increase the target for energy from renewable sources, subject to the advice of the Climate Change Committee.

We appreciate these are very early days in the life of the new Government but are also confident you will understand how keen we are for any clarification on the future of the Infrastructure Planning Commission and the Draft Policy Planning Statements (EN1&3) which will guide its approval or not of any application before it. We are also keen to learn that the new Government will be opposed to monster incinerators, masquerading as power stations, purporting to generate ‘green’ electricity which despoil and pollute forever cherished green space. Indeed what will be the policy of the Government on Energy from Waste ?

Further information on our activities can be found at

We look forward to hearing from you and wish you well in your new role.

Yours sincerely

Hugh Roberts