Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Beddington Incinerator Decision Due Today

 Lapwing- Declining on site- threatened by the Beddington Incinerator due to loss of wet grassland habitat
 Tree Sparrow- down from 1000 individuals in 2007 to only 60 today. Local extinction event predicted and further threatened by the Beddington Incinerator. 
 Short-eared Owl- a former regular winter visitor. The return of this species will mark the success of the currently failing conservation plan

Bedzed Eco-village - part of the Hackbridge Plan to develop the most sustainable suburb in Greater London and develop a major gateway to the Wandle Valley Regional Park. Threatened by the Beddington Incinerator. 

 A nature reserve and heartland to the Wandle Valley Regional Park to connect people and nature in South London. Threatened by the Beddington Incinerator.
 Over 1500 species of bird and other wildlife have been officially recorded at Beddington Farmlands but the true biodiversity on site is far from its full potential
 An urban nature reserve fox
The Beddington Incinerator

All we can hope at this stage is that the Mayor comes to the rescue for the people and nature of this area.

In the Mayor’s own London Plan, Beddington Farmlands is set to become a nature reserve forming the heartland of the Wandle Valley Regional Park.  Importantly that heartland is planned to be in area which is surrounded by diverse multi-cultural communities whose quality of life can be enhanced through a re-connection to nature.  The farmlands is set to be developed into a mosaic of important nature habitats that will provide a vital educational resource for the people in the area. The park will also have space for walking, running, cycling and other outdoor activities for health and wellbeing for local citizens.  It will provide employment opportunities boosting the local economy . A similar intiative- the London Wetland Centre attracts 200,000 visitors a year and generates substantial revenues. Four times the size of the London Wetland Centre Beddington Farmlands will be the people’s nature reserve demonstrating the commitment to not only provide access to nature and green infrastructure investments for the wealthy people of Barnes and Richmond but also for the not so wealthy people of South London.

Local people were promised a nature reserve and  park by 2015. Not only has the park not been delivered but the ecosystems that were supposed to be protected have been degraded by the site operators Viridor and now  Viridor want to add insult to injury by adding the Beddington Incinerator into the mix.  Viridor, have a 15 year track record of breaching social and environmental legal obligations and Viridor have overseen the demise of the important wildlife communities on site as well as denying widespread public access.  Even the most  iconic bird species on the site- the Tree Sparrow appears to be set to follow other rare species into local extinction as numbers have reduced from 1000 in 2007 to only 60 today.  

Viridor were provided with an opportunity in this application to mitigate for their past failings and the local authority were given a chance to call them to account. Viridor were also given an opportunity to adequately mitigate the negative effects of this proposal. However they submitted an application that was largely devoid of social and environmental responsibility. Our local authority didn’t stand up for local people - non-local free-lance planning officers were commissioned to draw up a biased planning report for the attention of local councillors which ensured approval before being sent to the Mayor for a final decision.

Therefore all we can hope is that the Mayor fulfils his own promises and that he sends out a clear message to local authorities to ensure that other companies cannot come into the less fortunate parts of London, manipulate local councillors, make all sorts of void promises to the people just so they can get planning permission, then later default on those promises and then run off with the profits generated by the degrading of people and nature of that area. If the Mayor does give permission it will prove that the people and nature of this part of London are being abused and manipulated and the Mayor is party to that.

The people that live round here and study wildlife on the site have endured these unfulfilled promises for too long. We were promised an end to it between 2015 and 2023 and we were promised a regional park and a nature reserve. We were not promised the Beddington Incinerator and we do not want it. 

 We want the Mayor to reject this application and protect the people and nature of South London. 

1 comment:

Peter Alfrey said...

He went on holiday and let his deputy make a quick decision