Today Eric Pickles has formally given the go ahead for the incinerator at St Dennis. This is a huge kick in the teeth for residents there as well as the campaigners who fought to stop it happening.
The incinerator plans were turned down by the former County Council by a margin of twenty votes to one. Among those who voted no were Alec Robertson who is now the Tory Leader of Cornwall Council.
The applicant then appealed and a public inquiry was held with Cornwall Council spending a lot of money on making its case to uphold the original decision. This effort (and spending) was then undermined by a letter sent by the same Cllr Robertson to Mr Pickles urging him to allow the appeal and therefore allow the incinerator.
People in Cornwall will rightly want to ask Cllr Robertson when he changed his mind. At the time he voted against the application at the planning committee, we have to assume that he really did oppose it and wasn't just casting a vote for political convenience. Since then he appears to have had a conversion to the benefits of the incinerator. When was that and what factors that were not known at the time of the planning committee have changed his mind?
Despite this very disappointing result, credit for their efforts to stop the incinerator should go to many people including Stephen Gilbert MP, Lib Dem Cllr Roy Taylor and MK Cllr Dick Cole as well, of course as local Cllr Fred Greenslade and the people of St Dennis and the surrounding area.