Energy campaign 18 March 2012
As we were unable to hold our annual fundraising New Year Feast this year, we had lunch at Mistley Quay to celebrate the windfarm campaign successes and our EarthMovers Award (see item from 9 Oct. 2011 below). More, with photographs, on the Energy page.
Waste campaign 17 Jan. 2012
We are asking people to respond to the consultation on the Waste Development Document before 5.30pm on Thursday 19th January.
The Waste Development Document (WDD) is a very long and flawed 'planning' document being 'consulted' on, with a deadline of 5.30pm on Thursday 19th January. It will not be completed until years after the waste plants have all been agreed. See it on: http://consult.essexcc.gov.uk.
Please email a response to: email@example.com. You don't have to answer all the questions. Remember to include your name and address.
Details of our suggested responses and the reasons can be found on the Waste campaign page.
Energy campaign 9 Oct. 2011
We won the Earthmovers Award for "Campaign or Project of the Year" at FoE Conference 2011, for our campaign in support of the Middlewick windfarm, 3 km. southeast of Southminster. We also supported the earlier successful windfarm proposals at Hockley Farm near Bradwell and Earls Hall Farm near St. Osyth. See the writeup on the National FoE website: Wind power leads the way in Essex.
Energy campaign 23 May 2011
The Middlewick Wind Farm proposal received consent from the planning inspectorate on May 19th. See our press release: Inspector approves Middlewick Windfarm on the Dengie Peninsula.
Energy campaign 11 April 2011
Colchester Borough Council has been involved in the consultations over the Government's plan for new nuclear build, and in their consultation response last year they opposed the selection of Bradwell as a site. Lyn Barton, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Sustainability, has written to Chris Huhne (Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change) explaining the reasons for the Council's opposition, which include the potential harm to the Bradwell Estuary from discharges, the threat of radioactive exposure to the residents of Mersea Island in the event of an incident, and the strength of feeling locally as shown by 10000 petition signatures against the plans "prior to the recent events in Japan".
Energy campaign 28 March 2011
The Middlewick windfarm inquiry ended later than planned with closing submissions on 18th March to be followed by site visits in the following week; the decision is due in about six weeks. Different members of our group have attended on alternate days of the inquiry, which has shown the Inspector there is significant support, usually more than those attending in opposition. The Maldon & Burnham Chronicle had our picture on the front page at the start of the inquiry, and the Maldon Standard for Wednesday 23rd March has our picture illustrating an article.
Maike Windhorst is in the front of the picture with the placard about Essex Chambers of Commerce supporting the windfarm which will bring in £6million to the economy and the community. A good group of FoE and other people supporting the windfarm are holding placards with Susan Francis holding the placard saying that Natural England, RSPB and FoE all support the Middlewick windfarm. The article includes some of Paula Whitney's statement about the misinformation spread by SIEGE and BATTLE.
Energy campaign 10 March 2011
After the inspector approved the Hockley Farm (Bradwell) windfarm at the second inquiry a year ago, BATTLE and SIEGE challenged it in the High Court. This challenge has now been thrown out.
Energy campaign 27 Feb. 2011
A public inquiry will start at 10am on Tuesday, 8th March, at Maldon Council's offices in Princes Road, Maldon. The Inspector will be hearing the appeal by RidgeWind against Maldon council's refusal for its proposed nine turbines at Middlewick Farm, Southminster.
The inquiry is anticipated to last 6.5 days. If anyone wishes to speak, they should attend on the first day to register. Some of us will attend to show support for the windfarm.
Energy campaign 21 July 2010
Sustrans are currently running a project in Ipswich called TravelSmart, which aims to encourage households to walk, cycle and use public transport more often by providing them with local personalised travel information, eg. bus timetables, local travel map, walking and cycling maps.
They will be running a similar project, also in Ipswich from August to November called LivingSmart. This will aim to encourage households to think about their waste and energy use by providing them with personalised local information to encourage them to recycle more, tips for using less energy, amongst other things.
They are currently recruiting for Home energy auditors to work on the project. Work will be available on occasional dates between 6 October and 12 November 2010, and the closing date for applications is Friday 13 August.
Energy campaign 17 Feb. 2010
Here is our letter to the press about the consultation (see entry below), with some suggestions for how to respond.
Energy campaign 8 Feb. 2010
Please see the newsletter from BANNG (.doc) which was sent out a couple of weeks ago. It includes a lot of information, but particularly Andy Blowers' highly critical response from BANNG to the House of Commons Inquiry into Energy National Policy Statements. Please try to read it if you can.
There is a lot to read but see also a short message from BANNG (.doc) to encourage everyone to make their own personal response to the nuclear consultation which ends in two weeks' time on 22nd February. Please do make your own reponse using any of the points you wish in as long or short a version as you can manage. Every personal response is very important to build up the numbers of individual objectors.
This message from Jim Duffy of Stop Hinkley might give you some simpler ideas for responding to the nuclear consultations. It is good to hear that FoE is considering challenging the nps. According to BANNG's Andy and Varrie Blowers FoE spoke very well at the recent parliamentary sessions.
Waste campaign 23 Jan. 2010
The latest 'consultation', in which we risk having wheelie bins imposed, ends on 29th January (unless they extend it again). Send your comments to FREEPOST NAT4433, Colchester CO1 1BR or fill in the survey online at www.colchester.gov.uk/recycling.
Waste campaign 25 Nov. 2009
Last Thursday the county put out tenders for the massive long-term contracts in their waste strategy, which include MBT plants and imply incinerators. We will be demonstrating at County Hall steps on Thursday 26th November, 1pm to 1.30pm, before the East Area Waste Committee meeting in Room 1, County Hall. Press release: We must dump the County's waste plans.
Energy campaign 24 Nov. 2009
The second public inquiry into the proposed windfarm at Hockley Farm, Bradwell, has now finished. Paula read our statement of support on Wednesday 18/11/09: CFoE statement of support.
Energy campaign 23 Nov. 2009
The windfarm of five turbines at Earls Hall Farm, Clacton, has been approved. It is the first windfarm to be approved in Essex. Press release: Exciting news of first Essex windfarm.
Waste campaign 18 Oct. 2009
The public inquiry into the proposed Waste Management Facility at Rivenhall Airfield took place from 29th September to 14th October. Paula Whitney spoke against the proposal on the last day. You can download our submission to the Planning Inspectorate as a Word document: Response to Rivenhall waste proposal.
PS: the facility was subsequently passed by the inspector.
Energy campaign 4 Aug. 2009
BANNG organised a peaceful vigil (waterborne and onshore) in protest at the plans for new nuclear build at Bradwell, and in the interests of the future of the Blackwater estuary. Times: 2pm-4pm. Details in this Word document: Summer Vigil.
Energy campaign 3 Aug. 2009
The public inquiry for the Earls Hall windfarm application started on Wednesday 29th July at the Tendring council planning offices at Weeley. Sorry for the belated notice.
Energy campaign 5 July 2009
Another problem with water-cooled nuclear power stations: they need cool water. During the heatwave, EDF has had to close its riverside power stations because they can't be run safely, and is importing power from Britain to make up the shortfall, as revealed by The Times: France imports UK electricity as plants shut.
Transport campaign 21 June 2009
On 18th June, there was a bike race in the town centre in the evening. The main road circuit around town was closed all day, to all traffic including buses, and used for cycle-related activities. This created access problems for bus users (and also for pedestrians; there were gaps in the barriers for crossing points, but they weren't all wheelchair/pram/etc. accessible).
See our letter to the Gazette: Buses as important as bikes?
Energy campaign 8 May 2009
You have until midnight next Thursday (14 May) to give your views on the proposal to site a new nuclear power station and spent fuel store at Bradwell.
BANNG is preparing a detailed response.
It is, however, important that individuals also have their say and the Core Group is calling on you all to respond.
This need not be onerous - just a paragraph or a few sentences on why you oppose the proposal.
Among the issues are the points that are frequently made:
• storage of highly radioactive waste - in fact, you could point out that the leaflet ,'Have your say', makes no mention of spent fuel storage on site;
• environmental damage;
• security and terrorism;
• evacuation (the BANNG Strood protest showed the difficulty of evacuating the island at high tide);
• floods and storm surges as a result of climate change (which would inevitably flood the site);
• health risks (the possibility of health risks means the Precautionary Principle should be adopted, i.e. there should be no nuclear power station!);
• adverse effects on the fishing industry (from the intake of huge volumes of cooling water sucking in larvae and eggs);
• adverse effects on the oyster industry (from the increase of the temperature of the water in the estuary by 1 - 2 degrees C from the outfall of cooling water );
• visual impact (during construction this would impact on Mersea; after construction, we'd be facing two hulks of similar size);
• nuclear blight on the tranquil and beautiful Blackwater estuary.
Colchester Borough Council's Overview and Scrutiny Panel has been looking into many of these issues and has concerns. Please see the Panel's papers on the CBC website.
Please do your best to have your say, however brief. You can be assured that we are being listened to.
Click on this link to go to the "Have your Say" web page to ensure your thoughts are registered where they count.
www.nuclearpowersiting.decc.gov.uk - or write to:-
Office for Nuclear Development Public Comments,
Freepost SEA 12430,
Waste campaign 20 Apr. 2009
Friends of the Earth are joining the Rivenhall people at 9am on Friday 24th April on the steps of the County Hall. Please come to support us if you can. Press will be invited for 9.15am.
ECC so far have not had the approval from Defra - as far as we know - for the PFI funding for the 28.5 year waste contracts for two massive MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment) plants at Basildon and Rivenhall. These would shred and compost residual 'black bag' waste, making SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel) to burn in an incinerator at Rivenhall. Lord Hanningfield, leader of Essex County Council, has pledged since 2001 that there will be no incinerator in Essex and that there would be a referendum if one was proposed.
The latest application for waste plants at Rivenhall Airfield alone, which is recommended for approval by ECC next Friday, has risen to over a million tonnes, with 360,000 tonnes of SRF to be burnt. They say they will include commercial waste and waste will come from outside Essex. The report also says they expect to enact the agreed Cory application for 250,000 tonnes p.a. MBT plants at Stanway. Yet Essex total municipal waste for 2007/8 was just 690,084 tonnes, dropping 8,600 tonnes from the previous year.
Waste is not rising in Essex or the UK, whereas a mythical 3% p.a. rise in household waste has been factored in to projections for 25 or 30 year waste disposal contracts in Essex and across the UK, which are the basis for massive overprovision for MBT plants and incinerators. Councils will be legally bound to provide the contracted disposal tonnage.
Another pledge from Lord Hanningfield is that Essex will recycle and compost 60% by 2020. Even if we only managed 60% recycling and composting over the next decade it would leave only about 280,000 tonnes p.a. to landfill from the twelve district councils.
Energy campaign 15 Apr. 2009
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990
APPEAL BY: NPower Renewables
SITE ADDRESS: Land At Hockley Farm Hockley Lane Bradwell-On-Sea Essex
APPLICATION REFERENCE NO: 06/00291/FUL
APPEAL REFERENCE NO: APP/X1545/A/06/2023805/NWF
DESCRIPTION OF DEVELOPMENT: Construct Wind Farm comprising of 10 turbines of maximum 121m to blade tip height, sub-station building, anemometer mast and ancillary infrastructure
Maldon District Council has written to people who submitted representations to the original application to build ten wind turbines on land at Hockley Farm, Hockley Lane, Bradwell. A deadline for submissions to the above to arrive at the Planning Inspectorate by 21st April.
The original application was approved by the inspector after the public inquiry, which was very thorough and included three days hearing evidence down at Southend Airport. This was then challenged and overturned by the High Court.
An appeal was then arranged to be heard by the original Inspector, with evidence restricted to the noise aspect 'along with any material changes arising since the date of the original appeal decision'. This would have been very short, perhaps two days.
However, the Planning Inspectorate has changed its mind and 'now considers that in order to assist in the smooth running of the inquiry a new Inspector should be appointed with no restrictions on what evidence may be submitted to the inquiry.' So we are starting again. Please consider supporting this windfarm, which would supply the equivalent electricity needs of a third of the Maldon district with current profligate and wasteful use of power.
If anyone would like to add to their previous submission, or anyone else would like to submit a representation you have to send three copies to: The Planning Inspectorate, 4/04 Kite, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN. The deadline to receive these is no later than 21st April 2009. I attach the response (.DOC) from Colchester & NE Essex FoE for some suggested points which could be made.
When it was first heard we raised more letters of support than those from the huge nationally-organised anti-wind local opposition groups BATTLE and SIEGE, who were very aggressive and intimidating to local supporters of the windfarm and the farmers involved. Three of our group and other FoE members from across Essex attended a public meeting which was peddling inaccuracies and whipped up anti-wind hype.
Could I suggest that some important new facts could be added to previous letters of support - I'm sure you will know of other good environmental/planning reasons to include!
* The new Climate Change Act has committed the UK to 80% reduction in climate change gases by 2050.
* The Eastern region has committed to produce 44% of its electricity from onshore and offshore windpower by 2020, with 17% coming from onshore windfarms alone.
* The Government has committed to produce 15% of total energy needs from renewable energy by 2020. To put this into context, nuclear power only provided 3% of total energy use in 2006 (Source: Govt BERR statistics).
Hope you can respond and encourage others to send a letter of support before the 21st April. Please forward to others not on this list if you can!
Thanks - Paula Whitney, Co-ordinator Colchester & NE Essex Friends of the Earth.
Energy campaign 22 Mar. 2009
Problems with coastal power stations: The Times published some research last year about the damage to marine ecosystems caused by power plant cooling systems: Nuclear plants sucking the sea life from British waters, researchers claim. This is of concern in relation to the proposed new nuclear build at Bradwell.
Nuclear power in conflict with renewables shock: in case anyone still thought otherwise, ENDS bulletin reports on EDF's and E.ON's opposition to renewable electricity (12th March); so does the Guardian: Green lobby and nuclear groups clash over role of renewable energy (16th March, Terry Macalister); and Professor Dave Elliott of the Open University reported on the technical issues and risks on March 8th on his blog: Nuclear vs. wind.
Energy campaign 7 Dec. 2008
Anyone who sent a letter of support (or objection) to the Earls Hall windfarm proposal will have received a letter from Tendring District Council telling you that Npower Renewables has appealed against the council's decision to turn it down. There will be a public inquiry, and they will notify you when the date has been set. You can inspect the grounds set out for the appeal at the Council Offices, Weeley.
If you haven't yet written already you have till this Thursday 11th December to submit any comments (six weeks from 30th October 2008). They ask you to send three copies to the Secretary of State, Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/16 Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN. It must get there by 11th December by post!
Some of our Colchester & NE Essex FoE members spent a lot of time looking at the site and the plans, talking to Npower Renewables and then visiting eight similar turbines at Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire. We also spent time walking round the local roads and looking at the properties closest to the site. We strongly support the windfarm.
There were over a thousand letters of support, with only 150 letters of objection. However, a vociferous local anti-windfarm group called 'Staple' was able to persuade the Tendring council planning committee councillors to unanimously turn the proposal down. This was in spite of their officer's very comprehensive report recommending approval, saying the windfarm did not have planning reasons on which to oppose it and that it complied with many policies.
Here are some points you can make in any way you prefer, but remember to first state your support (or opposition). If you wish to be informed of the decision of the appeal, please make this fact known in your letter to the Secretary of State.
Reference: APP/P1560/A/08/2088548/NWF. Appeal by Npower Renewables concerning construction of a windfarm of 5 turbines at Earls Hall Farm, Clacton-on-sea, Essex. Application no: 07/00433/FUL.
I wish my support for the Earls Hall Wind Farm planning application (Planning Reference: 07/00433/FUL) to be officially placed on record.
My reasons for support are:
• The proposal will result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, which will help this country to meet its current Kyoto targets for reducing CO2 emissions, helping prevent climate change through providing clean renewable energy.
• The application is supporting Government Energy policy, as detailed in PPS22 and local plan policies. It will help contribute to the regional targets for renewable energy.
• The electricity generated will be used locally and would help create a sustainable decentralised form of energy production with each area of the country producing its own electricity. These five turbines would provide the equivalent electricity needs for around 5,500 to 6,000 homes - enough for Brightlingsea and St Osyth.
• Wind farms need a countryside location and Earls Hall is the right place to capture wind energy, with very good wind speeds.
• The proposal will help maintain the viability of the local farms involved and the businesses that depend on farming.
• During construction employment will be created, boosting the local rural economy.
Any additional Comments:
Energy campaign 16 Nov. 2008
British Energy are holding public meetings about their proposals for two new nuclear power stations at Bradwell. They are at:
Tues 18 Nov: MICA hall, West Mersea - 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Wed 19 Nov: Bradwell village hall - 6.30pm to 9pm
Tues 25 Nov: Southminster Memorial hall - 2.30pm to 5pm
Wed 26 Nov: Steeple village hall - 10am to 12.30pm and Cold Norton village hall - 6.30pm to 9pm
Waste campaign 7 Oct. 2008
There will be a public meeting on Friday Oct. 10th at Feering Community Centre, and another on Friday Oct. 17th at Bradwell Village Hall, to discuss the planning application for a regional waste site and waste incinerator at Rivenhall Airfield.
Each meeting starts at 7.30pm and is open to all. There will be an opportunity to view the full planning application documents and to receive a report on the implications of the development, as well as finding how to make representations. The deadline for objections is 29th October.
The meetings have been organised by District Councillors James Abbott and Philip Hughes and the Feering meeting is being supported by Kelvedon and Feering Heritage Society.
More details in Green Cllr James Abbott's announcement of the meetings.
Waste campaign 1 Oct. 2008
Colchester Borough Council's Cabinet met on 1st Oct. 2008 to officially withdraw the Council's support from Essex County Council's PFI bid associated with the MBT-based waste strategy.
The following decisions were agreed by the Cabinet:
• To rescind the Memorandum of Understanding signed on behalf of CBC on 19/7/07
• To repudiate the letter of support (from the various councils for the PFI project) previously approved on 17/7/07
• To inform ECC and DEFRA of these decisions (before DEFRA makes its decision on PFI funding this month).
Energy campaign 25 Sept. 2008
There was a CBC scrutiny panel meeting at the Mersea MICA hall on Tuesday 23rd September at 6pm,
with speakers for and against nuclear power.
Press release from BANNG: Report on Bradwell meeting.
Energy campaign 28 Aug. 2008
On 2nd Sept. 2008, at 14:00 at Greenstead Community Centre, Greenstead, Colchester, there will be a meeting of the East Essex Area Forum. Attendees include John Jowers and Christopher Manning-Press of ECC. A copy of the agenda can be found here on the Essex County Council website.
Agenda item 6 is "Nuclear Power". Description in agenda:
To receive a presentation from Nigel Knee, British Energy, on the prospects for building new nuclear power stations in the UK, considering the potential of the Bradwell site for further development.
Forums have no decision-making powers, but submit reports on matters of local concern to the Council or its committees.
From the documentation:
There will be a period of up to 30 minutes where members of the public may raise oral or written questions [...] Members of the public are requested to contact the Committee Officer listed on the front of the agenda in advance of the meeting, should they require clarification of the procedure.
Waste campaign July 2008
In the May elections, the Conservatives lost control of Colchester Borough Council. The new administration, a LibDem/Labour/Independent coalition, had supported our campaign against the county council's waste strategy for a long time when in opposition.
They agreed a new waste policy which is opposed to Essex County Council's strategy of centralised sites with MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment) plants shredding and drying 'black bag' waste to produce RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) or SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel) for an incinerator. The new policy aims at Zero Waste, and is incompatible with the long contracts required for the proposed MBT plants and an incinerator.
They announced in the local weekly Standard that they were pulling out of the PFI bid to Government to help finance the 28.5 year contracts. However a more recent article in the daily Gazette announced they were staying "at the table" till Christmas by which time the PFI bid will have been agreed.
Energy Campaign June 2008
The Earls Hall windfarm application was rejected by Tendring District Council on 19th June. The next stage will probably be a public inquiry. Watch this space for further developments.
21 March 2011
The "Fix the Food Chain" campaign page is now live.
3 Feb. 2011
19 July 2009
Another site redesign! This one is mainly to improve accessibility.
Links no longer open in a new window or tab, except when going to a PDF file, because PDFs open the reader application in the browser window.
The markup, e.g. for headers, has been changed to make more sense in non-graphical browsers, and descriptions have been added to images, links and acronyms.
There is a new page for the transport campaign, and some other pages have been moved to a more logical place to reduce the clutter in the top level menu.
19 April 2009
Started changing links (when each page gets updated) so that they don't create a new window if they don't have to. Non-web-pages, e.g. PDFs, will still be in a new window.
12 August 2008
Added this news page. Each section will accumulate blog fashion, with the most recent at the top.
If you use your browser's print function to print pages, you now get a version adjusted for printing, with a simplified header and no menus, so that the right-hand part of the page doesn't get cut off in Internet Explorer.
I changed all the page layouts. Major changes:
•Variable width. If your browser window is wider than the header graphic, pages will use more of the screen instead of a strip down the middle.
•Menu under the header changed so that it still works if you use a non-standard font size, and in a wider variety of browsers.
•Better support for text-only browsers and people who don't load images automatically.
•Text flows more smoothly round images in the main part of the page.
Page updated 18/3/12