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Cheers as Veolia application for large scale incinerator rejected but CPRE Hampshire warns of future appeal

28th February 2022

Hampshire County Council’s Regulatory Committee have decided to reject an application by waste management company, Veolia, to build an ‘Energy Recycling Facility’ in the heart of the Hampshire countryside.

However, the story does not end there. Christopher Napier, CPRE Hampshire Vice President explains:

“It was clearly a case of the wrong development in the wrong place and we are delighted that our objections were considered and reflected in the final decision. However, we cannot rest on our laurels and now need to look to the future. There is a strong chance that an appeal against this decision will be launched and we need to keep in mind what is at stake. It is important to bear in mind the need for avoidance of landfill by reuse and recycling of waste and CPRE Hampshire strongly supports this. Critical, however, to any approach to a future proposal for a new large-scale waste management facility, is its location, its size and the corresponding impacts on landscape character, visual amenity and local amenity. In principle, they should be in industrial locations and not the open countryside. In line with the Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan any future proposals should be the right development, in the right place.”

Veolia applied to replace their recycling plant near Alton with an incinerator to generate electricity from unrecyclable waste. This required a building 40 metres high with twin 80 metre stacks, which would dominate the Wey Valley to the east of Alton. To the south of the site is the South Downs National Park and to the north a piece of fine countryside which CPRE Hampshire have assessed as being a Valued Landscape, in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework.

Christopher was at the meeting to present a deputation on behalf of the charity: “Having been involved in this process from the onset, we felt strongly that the major landscape and visual impact had not been properly considered by the Planning Officers in their recommendations to approve the application. The form and appearance of the development would not have been appropriate to the scale of the landscape setting of the site and would have had seriously negative impacts on both the landscape and views. However, we will now wait to see what next steps there may be and if an appeal is launched.”