Residents say proposals to build a medical waste plant near an award-winning nature reserve are “really outrageous”. Energy company Clean Thermodynamic Energy Conversion is awaiting permission from East Sussex County Council to develop a waste plant at the East Quay Industrial Estate in Newhaven.
The plant, operating as MediPower, would process 12 tonnes of non-hazardous healthcare waste a day to generate electricity and potentially heat to other port-side users.
Resident Jeannie Labno said: “The idea of giving permission for a medical waste plant here at Newhaven is really outrageous.
“There is already permission for a cement plant in the same area, right next to the Tide Mills nature reserve, an ecologically sensitive area that has won environmental awards.”
She said residents are concerned about air quality due to extra traffic in the town for the medical plant.
Ms Labdo said: “Newhaven is already really congested. The air quality is just terrible already here and it will get worse if this goes ahead.
“Last Sunday I couldn’t go for a walk at East Dean because the road at the bridge was blocked and traffic backed up miles for several hours.
“Add the cement works and post-Brexit slow-downs of ferry traffic, the last thing we need is another industrial plant in this town.
“Questions are raised when there is such a lack of consideration for the health and wellbeing of the people in Newhaven.”
Ms Labdo said although the proposals have not been considered by East Sussex County Council, which will have the final say, it is important to take action now to stop the development taking place.
A spokesman for Lewes District Council said: “Earlier this year and following the draft permit consultation period, the council made the decision to issue a permit under Regulation 13 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 to operate a small waste incineration plant using non-hazardous waste. This is not planning consent.
“East Sussex County Council will consider a planning application for the facility at a later date.”
A county council spokesman said: “The application is due to be considered by East Sussex County Council’s planning committee in the New Year, where feedback from the public and consultees will be considered alongside the details of the proposal.”
I assume from this that the complainers never expect to receive any healthcare, for themselves of their loved one, though if they do they would be happy to have the resulting healthcare wastes treated in someone else’s back yard.