LONDON’S Green Party MEP Jean Lambert visited Sutton on Friday to meet residents campaigning against a proposed new waste incinerator.
Ms Lambert, who discussed the health and environmental impacts of the planned waste burner with nearby residents and pupils from Waddon Parish Church Infant and Junior schools, said Sutton planners should protect local people by saying ‘no’ to the proposal.
Ms Lambert said: “The planned incinerator at Beddington Lane could release toxic particles into an already built-up area of South London, affecting homes and schools.
“It would see a massive increase in lorry traffic on nearby roads, increasing congestion and pollution.
“The deteriorating air quality is likely to breach EU standards designed to protect residents’ safety – and it’s not even necessary.
“Recycling rates are rising in the area – and with a bit of effort from the South London Waste Partnership they could rise to as much as 90% in as long as it would take to build the incinerator.”
The proposed incinerator is the brainchild of the South London Waste Partnership, an entity created by local councillors to handle waste in the four boroughs Sutton, Merton, Kingston and Croydon.
If it is given the go-ahead, it could burn as much as 300,000 tonnes of waste a year – some imported from elsewhere in London and even further afield, bringing fleets of lorries onto local roads. A final decision will be made by planners at Sutton Council later this year.
Ms Lambert added: “I hope planners in Sutton will reject this proposal out of hand – and instead adopt a waste reduction strategy and improve recycling and composting facilities in the area.
“If new facilities prove necessary, it would be better to have several smaller waste handing and recycling sites spread across the four boroughs to deal with the waste locally, rather than bringing it all by lorry to one site in Beddington.”