Impact On You
Details of the developers existing proposals can be viewed here on our planning page.
Details of the previous proposals can be viewed here on our planning page.
Are Peel/UKC planning to restore the site back agriculture?
No, what is actually being proposed is a 60,000 tonnes per annum Anaerobic Digestion (AD) power plant which will also provide energy for 12 acres of greenhouses, where plant propagation will take place.
UK Coal and Peel describe this as an "agricultural led development" but in reality this proposal could not be justified without the 2.75MW electricity that they expect to generate and resell through the Government's generous Feed in Tariffs (paid for by you the tax payer).
No, putting aside any pollution from the facility and the volume of traffic generated for now there are several reasons why:
Firstly the size of the AD plant could be significantly smaller (around 1MW) and all of the feedstock for the AD plant could be grown within the boundaries of the site. This would then eliminate the daily requirement for 70+ HGV and 50-100 car movements to/from the site. It could also create a truly sustainable, agricultural led development within the Green Belt.
Secondly we believe there is not enough suitable waste in the local area to feed such a facility, which means waste from outside the locality will need to be transported via HGV to the site (Over 70 vehicle movements every day).
This would involve hundreds of thousands of litres fossil fuel being used to fuel the HGVs to get the waste to site. The carbon foot print of this alone could be colossal.
No, there are already several AD facilities in the locality some of which have capacity and currently have to bring in waste from well outside outside the locality to operate efficiently.
This would be a first of its kind for UK Coal and Peel Environmental – i.e. The developers do not have a proven track record of designing and operating such a facility. Given potentially hazardous operations (the product and storage of highly flammable and potentially toxic gases) would take place we believe it is irresponsible to site such a facility very close to local communities and some distance away from emergency services.
In the past there has been documented pollution of local water courses from the site. Effluent from composting 60,000 tonnes waste could conceivably contaminate the watercourse, which flows straight through Escrick and Stillingfleet villages and on to food producing agricultural land.
Is it an investment in the local economy?
Processing waste and generating electricity from it is a highly profitable business, part of which is heavily subsidized by you the tax payer.
Experts in the field have advised us the AD facility will require just 4 6 specialized personnel to run it. The developer has stated the proposed horticultural green housing could employ 50 people. Other similar facilities in the region predominantly use contract non UK workers. We believe it is therefore unlikely the local community will not derive any benefits from the planned development.
We have significant concern that the planned development could depress existing local Green Belt and agricultural economies.
The proposals state that everyday there would be 70+ HGV movements that will bring waste to the site and there could be 100+ car movements to the site daily - All of which will travel along the already busy A19. Apart from adding to the congestion the additional traffic will further raise harmful Nitrous Oxide levels.
We hope York City Council will continue with its commitment to improve air quality for York residents and throw out Peels proposals for a Waste Power Station at the former North Selby Mine.
"... The need to tackle congestion and air pollution is one of the most pressing issues we face in York."The leader of the council's Green group,
Coun Andy D'Agorne.
See www.jorair.co.uk for more information.
What about the environment and wildlife?
Since mining ceased some 10 years ago native species of wildlife have begun to re-establish themselves again. Recent ecology surveys carried out at the site have indentified Over 100 species of birds, 22 species of mammals and in excess of 21 species of butterfly. To date three specially protected species have been documented in significant numbers at the site including Great Crested Newts, Little Ring Plovers and Barn Owls by City of York Environment and Conservation officers.
This is not an industrial site, in an industrial setting it is a former semi-developed site in the Green Belt. The proposed development by UK Coal/Peel would undoubtedly have a effect upon the local environment and wildlife.