People power wins the Cheney Manor biomass battle

Coun Des Moffatt, Coun Terri Jones, Paul Saunders and Marie Thatcher at the site

Coun Des Moffatt, Coun Terri Jones, Paul Saunders and Marie Thatcher at the site

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

PEOPLE power is being hailed as the victor as controversial plans to build a biomass plant in Cheney Manor have been officially thrown out by the council.

Energy company Pure Green met with fierce opposition from residents, who were concerned the facility, which involved burning wood to create energy, would be damaging to their health.

A decision on the site was due to be made last August but it was deferred as more information was requested. However, after months of attempting to make contact with Pure Green, council officers received no response and so formally disposed of the application on Tuesday.

It means that effectively the matter is now closed and there will be no biomass plant built at Cheney Manor. Residents campaigned hard to stop the application and in November handed over a petition with 700 signatures to the council. Yesterday they were celebrating the decision.

Among them was Terri Jones, 60, of Bruce Street, who thanked everyone who had helped in the battle.

She said: “I believe I speak for most residents when saying ‘common sense prevails’ following the announcement that the application is finally disposed of. We’re proud of Swindon and it’s progressive thinking. This application was a huge step backwards.

“Many people have been involved in opposing this. Most importantly, many, many residents in the immediate area, all those who signed petitions, turned up at the Civic Offices to have their voices heard and numbers counted.

“I would just like to say to those in power, ‘please take into account your voters’, and council tax payers’ welfare when considering applications’. After all, you’re the caretakers of the town and its residents, so take care when considering such matters for the town, its residents and their interests.”

Councillor Des Moffatt (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney), who originally helped bring the matter to the public’s attention, said: “This is a victory for the people. It is a great result for everyone who fought it as they were concerned about their health. It shows that if people get together and do not allow themselves to get deflected from the main issue they can win.”

Coun Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Dorcan), the cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “Throughout the planning application by Pure Green, residents have been critical of the quality of the application and this was a facility that was not wanted or needed in Cheney Manor.

“We asked residents to trust the planning officers to follow the correct procedures which they have done which means there will be no future discussion on the application.

“Residents and ward councillors ran an effective and non-political campaign against this biomass plant which was successful.”

Hippofan, the parent company of Pure Green, was not available for comment.

Comments (7)

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8:24am Thu 13 Mar 14

dc the 2nd says...

NIMBY power!
NIMBY power! dc the 2nd
  • Score: 2

9:55am Thu 13 Mar 14

CocoaClown says...

Hardly a victory. They application has been disposed of, not refused. Disposed of just means that as the Council haven't heard back they have taken it off their books due to timescales lapsed.

Bit presumptious of the Councillors to say that there will be no plant here. If Pure Green want to reapply they can and they don't have a refusal to argue against. I'm not convinced this is the last of this.
Hardly a victory. They application has been disposed of, not refused. Disposed of just means that as the Council haven't heard back they have taken it off their books due to timescales lapsed. Bit presumptious of the Councillors to say that there will be no plant here. If Pure Green want to reapply they can and they don't have a refusal to argue against. I'm not convinced this is the last of this. CocoaClown
  • Score: 4

11:40am Thu 13 Mar 14

John~R says...

Better to let the biomass be used productively in controlled conditions than let it turn into an enormous bonfire as happened a few months ago.
Better to let the biomass be used productively in controlled conditions than let it turn into an enormous bonfire as happened a few months ago. John~R
  • Score: 3

2:33pm Thu 13 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

dc the 2nd wrote:
NIMBY power!
Deep down everyone is a nimby about something or other, I bet there are loads of things you would object to being built in your back garden or having a child murderer who had served his time move in next door to you so please grow up!
[quote][p][bold]dc the 2nd[/bold] wrote: NIMBY power![/p][/quote]Deep down everyone is a nimby about something or other, I bet there are loads of things you would object to being built in your back garden or having a child murderer who had served his time move in next door to you so please grow up! house on the hill
  • Score: -4

4:12pm Thu 13 Mar 14

dc the 2nd says...

house on the hill wrote:
dc the 2nd wrote:
NIMBY power!
Deep down everyone is a nimby about something or other, I bet there are loads of things you would object to being built in your back garden or having a child murderer who had served his time move in next door to you so please grow up!
being told to grow up by a NIMBY, my irony just exploded. Mess everywhere.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dc the 2nd[/bold] wrote: NIMBY power![/p][/quote]Deep down everyone is a nimby about something or other, I bet there are loads of things you would object to being built in your back garden or having a child murderer who had served his time move in next door to you so please grow up![/p][/quote]being told to grow up by a NIMBY, my irony just exploded. Mess everywhere. dc the 2nd
  • Score: -2

4:33pm Thu 13 Mar 14

MarksDad says...

Aren't the council going to be burning waste to create energy at their site on Cheney Manor. Whats the difference?
Aren't the council going to be burning waste to create energy at their site on Cheney Manor. Whats the difference? MarksDad
  • Score: 2

6:04pm Thu 13 Mar 14

PJC says...

I bet every single one of the people who objected are 'really' careful about the amount of energy and other resources they use, and are green and recycle all they can? Thought not.
I bet every single one of the people who objected are 'really' careful about the amount of energy and other resources they use, and are green and recycle all they can? Thought not. PJC
  • Score: 0

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