Residents promise to continue fight against Covanta - but Tory councillors say it’s all over

A community group hope to extend their fight against plans to built an incinerator in rural Bedfordshire.

Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator (BACI) says it received more than 300 supportive responses backing a possible appeal against the latest judgment in the case.

Only a handful of replies on social media were unsupportive, according to BACI.

They add: “The indications of continued support are good and therefore we are launching the fundraising for the first stage towards an appeal with immediate effect.”

The 222-acre site in Stewartby is a former brick clay extraction pit to the south of Stewartby.

Meanwhile, Covanta were invited with the Environment Agency to speak to Central Beds councillors about the Rookery South resource recovery facility.

However at a meeting of the council’s sustainable communities overview and scrutiny committee meeting last week, Conservative councillors were largely supportive of the scheme.

Dunstable Icknield councillor David McVicar, who chairs the group, suggested the legal issues had reached a conclusion.

“The planning approval has been made, while the court case pending with the Environment Agency has been settled, and so we have an answer on both of those area,” he said.

“That’s done, dusted and not in dispute any more. A lot of the fears and uncertainties that members and the local population had have probably been allayed.”

Cranfield and Marston Moretaine councillor Sue Clark said in an email to the commitee: “I have been involved in opposing the Covanta project since the 
beginning.

“But now the project is going ahead I look forward to working closely with the company to ensure the safe working and minimal disruption to our residents, some of whom live close to the site.”

Tom Coultas, Covanta’s head of corporate development activities in the UK, spoke at the same meeting.

He said: “We process 22million tonnes of waste a year and generate 10million megawatts of clean energy from that waste, enough to power a million homes.

“We also recycle metal from that waste. We recycle about 500,000 tonnes of metal a year, enough to build six Golden Gate bridges. Recovery is recycling energy and recycling the metals.

“With landfill you have decomposition which occurs and you have methane released, which is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

“You eliminate any leaching into the ground water and you are also reducing the volume of this waste. Landfill is an unsustainable use of land.

“When you recover the energy from waste from the incinerator you reduce the volume by 90 per cent