Is Bellshill Industrial Estate the best place for a clinical/medical waste plant that went on fire?
A councillor has written to the Scottish Government in a quest to effect the shutdown of a medical waste site in Bellshill following a dramatic blaze there which sparked a stay-away warning earlier this month.
The blaze took hold on Friday, July 9, at the Tradebe Healthcare site in centrally located Bellshill Industrial Estate leaving dark fume-filled clouds of smoke visible across North Lanarkshire’s skyline.
Residents and motorists alike were told to avoid the area and keep windows shut as dramatic images of the inferno put Bellshill in the national spotlight.
Now local councillor Colin Cameron, has written to Humza Yousaf MSP the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care to request that the facility’s licence to operate is withdrawn.
During the planning application process in 2019 Councillor Cameron had raised concerns regarding the close proximity to schools and nearby residential areas.
The Scottish Conservative said: “First let me state that I am grateful that no one was injured in the recent fire, but I still maintain that Bellshill Industrial Estate is not an appropriate place for this clinical waste treatment facility.
“Although the facility is within the Bellshill industrial estate there are large residential areas and multiple schools nearby and this is where much of the resultant ash settled. It’s unfortunate but even with the best kind of preventative measures fires are an inherent risk of this kind of facility. That’s why I have written to Humza Yousaf MSP to ask that he review its licence to operate.”
However a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “As the independent environmental regulator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency are responsible for waste management licensing.”
A SEPA spokesperson said: “The environmental permit for Tradebe Healthcare National Limited was issued on October 10 2019.
“As the permit contains all of the necessary conditions to protect the environment there are no plans to undertake a formal permit review at this stage. SEPA understands that the formal fire investigation may take some time to complete, and we expect to be informed of the outcome.”
Is this another local councillor looking to gain local support for a non-issue? After all, a fire can arise anywhere, including any of the local council facilities. If there was a fire there should we expect the same clamour for that facility to be closed down, be it a waste management facility, Primary School, a library, or the town hall staff canteen?