Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, calling for a formal Environmental Statement to be prepared for the proposed asphalt plant at Medina Wharf in Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The recent application which follows a Highways Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract is just one of the options proposed to meet the islands’ need for road materials, such as asphalt concrete. However, the application from a company called Eurovia has already been challenged on several important grounds.
Keith said: “Aside from the planning application being premature, there are some key environmental problems which still need to be addressed, such as it’s proximity to a European designated Solent and Southampton Water Areas of Special Protection Area (SPA), which is in place to protect breeding seabirds and water birds such as the Mediterranean Gull and Common Tern. There are also important issues for local residents, such as an increase in vehicle movements, air pollution from the dust and odour and the noise of the plant operating 24 hours a day.”
Keith Taylor who is the Euro MP for the Isle of Wight has already been in touch with constituents on the island who have raised their concerns about the proposed plant.
Julia Hill, Wight Residents Against Asphalt Plant (WRAP) spokesperson said: “Myself and local residents are really concerned about this proposal, which could see this plant being only be a few hundred yards away from the nearest houses. We believe this proposal warrants a full Environmental Impact Assessment, that would not only address the effects on wildlife but also the worrying impacts on human health created by air pollution. We have also been disappointed with the process, which we believe has not been thorough from the start, for example, the local council failed to seek clarity on whether the plant will only be present for the 25 year length of the PFI contract. This therefore had wider impacts on what assessments should have taken place and has been disheartening for us all.”
Keith continued: “I believe that planning applications should include a rigorous evaluation of alternative sites and in this particular case I would like to see the justification for choosing this site – Medina Wharf – over the existing island facilities at St George’s Down, which could also present a way forward for the islands need for materials to repair its roads. I will continue to monitor the progress of this planning application and will pay close attention to the application’s conformance to the relevant EU Directives that are designed to protect residents and their environment.”
The Isle of Wight Council has also requested further information before an informed decision on this important planning application can be made.
Read Keith’s letter to Eric Pickles: http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/asphalt-plant-IOW_Secretary-of-State-Pickles_18.7.12.pdf
Find out more about Wight Residents against the Asphalt Plant (WRAP) campaign: http://wrapmedina.info/ external website link.
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