Protesters against the proposed eco town on the outskirts of Lichfield were left reeling this week after discovering that a massive renewable energy park could also be landed on the city’s doorstep.
Fradley Against Curborough Town (FACT) were aghast to discover that an ‘energy park’ is a government require-ment for all eco town sites.
Now, they are calling on developers and authorities involved in the scheme, not to forget that it is current residents who will have to deal with the long-term effects.
As though the threat of a 5,000-home eco-town on their doorsteps wasn’t enough, members of FACT say the scheme is a another nightmare proposed for Fradley and adjoining communities. The renewable energy park planned for the eastern side of the A38, with the aim of enabling the eco-town to become zero-carbon and a net exporter of renewable energy.
Jan Green, secretary of FACT, said: “I have been saying for a long time that Fradley has become the dumping ground of the Midlands. Have the developers and county council forgotten that existing residents will actually have to live with the effects of their half-baked schemes?”
FACT is particularly concerned that no mention of this was made at the public consultations held by the Curborough Consortium, which served only to paint an idyllic picture of eco-bliss for the residents of the new eco-town.
The key features of this park would be:
* A combined heat and power plant which could utilise: municipal waste; waste from food processing companies on Fradley Park; -biomass, i.e. living and recently dead biological material.
* Wind Turbines
* Land is also earmarked for future experimental projects to maximise the eco-town’s utilisation of renewable energy.
City MP Michael Fabricant said the energy park raises further issues of congestion and pollution for the area.
He said: “This raises further issues of congestion and pollution in the area to the south east of Lichfield.
“And it jeopardises a county-wide plan, supported by DEFRA, to construct a waste incineration site on industrial land between Stafford and Wolverhampton which will recycle all of Staffordshire’s waste.
“No explanation has been given regarding how the waste is to be delivered to the incinerator, how tall the incinerator will be nor the height of its chimneys, and what noxious smells will be emitted across Curborough and southern Lichfield.
“Similarly, the height of the proposed windmills could destroy views across the Trent Valley affecting the outlook from the Armed Forces Memorial in Alrewas.
“I shall be taking soundings from local councillors, residents, the management of the National Memorial Arboretum, and FACT regarding the acceptability of the energy park and will continue to press Housing Minister, Caroline Flint, for some answers. She has gone very quiet on this issue. I wonder if this heralds another Downing Street U-Turn.”
FACT is urging the Lichfield community to support them and object to the eco town by June 30.
For more information visit www.factinfo.co.uk
By Theresa Bradley
19 June 2008
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