MP steps in to request public inquiry over decision

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MP for Buckingham John Bercow is trying to secure a public inquiry over the decision to approve a planning application for an incinerator at Calvert.

Mr Bercow has written to Secretary of State Eric Pickles, asking him to ‘call in’ last Friday’s decision by Bucks County Council (BCC).

Mr Bercow told the local government minister he was writing “in light of the significant objections voiced” and called the plan “highly contentious”. He asked Mr Pickles to consider the proposal in the light of the government’s Localism Bill.

In his letter, he said: “Given the controversy shrouding this application, I contend a full public inquiry is necessary to allow all interested parties to make representations to an independent planning inspector.

“I am firmly of the belief that, if the public is to feel confident that an objective decision has been made, an independent assessment from a Government Planning Inspector is essential.

“Given the scale and potentially detrimental impact of the development, it is appropriate that this application is carefully and neutrally scrutinised and a robust appraisal takes place.

“Bearing in mind the considerable level of local opposition, I strongly believe this application should be called in for your own determination.”

If the decision is not called in, it is likely that in June the county council’s cabinet will be asked to sign a 30-year contract with WRG to provide an energy-from-waste facility at Greatmoor Farm, Calvert, which will process 300,000 tonnes of waste.

WRG will then build and run the facility on behalf of BCC.

The county council will lease the facility to WRG and at the end of the contract BCC will own the plant.