Labour councillors and Holly Lynch MP have reacted with anger after a government planning inspector overruled the council’s decision to refuse plans for an incinerator in Sowerby Bridge.
The proposals have been hugely controversial, with much public opposition on environmental grounds, particularly air quality.
Cllr Adam Wilkinson said:
“I am angry and bitterly disappointed that the decision of locally elected councillors and the wishes of local people have been disregarded and overruled by the government’s planning inspector after years of fighting against these plans.
“We are taking steps as a council to improve air quality – in Sowerby Bridge in particular – so this decision feels like a huge kick in the teeth.
“We must now make sure that the planning conditions attached are strictly adhered to.”
Holly Lynch MP said:
“This decision is a major blow to the hundreds of local people in Sowerby Bridge who have been fighting this application for years now.
“It is obvious to me that a steep sided valley with an existing air quality problem is not a suitable site for an incinerator, so people will be understandably angry at this decision.”
Planning permission was refused by Calderdale councillors on the planning committee back in December 2017. The same committee then decided it would robustly defend that decision, after it emerged that the applicant had appealed. Since then there have been public hearings to hear evidence and a decision to permit the plans just announced. The government’s inspector said the plans are “unlikely to have a significant effect on human health.”