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Wednesday, 29 August, 2001, 21:32 GMT 22:32 UK
Incinerator path could be blocked
Campaigners do not want to live next to an incinerator
Environment Minister Sue Essex has said she is considering revoking planning permission for a new incinerator near Swansea.

She had previously declined requests to call in the controversial Crymlyn Burrows development, which is currently being built and which would handle waste from Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.

Sue Essex AM
Sue Essex had earlier refused to consider the calls
But a spokesperson for the Labour minister said she was thinking over scrapping the permission, although it was be a "drastic" move.

Opposing local campaigners from Stop The Incinerator fear the development will produce cancer-causing toxins.

They staged a sit-in protest at the Environment Agency offices in Swansea two weeks ago when the body said there was no reason not to grant an operating licence for the complex.

Election candidate

Campaign chairman Mike Ryan had been expected to stand for the Swansea East by-election on behalf of the group after the death of Labour Assembly Member Val Feld in July.

But, after a meeting on Monday evening, he stepped away from the race, announcing the campaign would not be fielding a candidate because it would distract them from their cause.

Another group, Parents Against Incinerator, is trying to get the Iechyd Morgannwg Health Authority to recommend the plan is stopped on health grounds.

The Environment Minister cannot call the plan proper in, but is able to revoke the permission for the plan.

We're absolutely delighted. She has had so much pressure from the general public in the area.

Nicola Roderick, campaigner
Conservative AM for South Wales West, Alun Cairns, said: "I'm genuinely pleased over any possibility of revoking the planning permission.

"This decision could easily have been taken months ago."

Public pressure

Nicola Roderick from Stop The Incinerator also welcomed the announcement.

"We're absolutely delighted," she said. "She has had so much pressure from the general public in the area.

"Because of the Swansea East by-election, she has started to have pressure put on her by local politicians and by candidates for the by-election.

"We hope that she revokes it before the IPPC licence is granted and before the election actually goes ahead."

Nominations for the by-election close at lunchtime on Friday.

A report from the National Society for Clean Air in June claimed modern incinerator plants posed only a negligible health risk.

But Friends of the Earth dismissed the report's findings as badly researched.

Greenpeace has also claimed incinerator emissions could contribute to cancers and heart disease. The charity has called on the UK Government to stop building the plants.

See also:

21 Mar 01 | UK Politics
MPs rubbish waste plan
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