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Oxfordshire County Council gives permission to destroy Thrupp Lake!

Today, The Oxfordshire County Council Planning and Regulatory Committee, by 9 votes to 5, granted permission to Didcot Power Station operators, RWE Npower, to fill Lake E with pulverised fuel ash.

The meeting was a travesty of misinformation, half-truths and misdirections. Supporters of the Lakes won all the arguments, but this was to no avail against a Corporate Bully who can hold government, and people, to ransom by threatening to turn out the lights if they do not get their way. Five councillors saw through the falsehoods, at least one other was party to them and the rest sheepishly followed the Officers’ recommendations (See previous News Item).

Of the many objections, not one was properly addressed. The outcome hinged crucially on the lack of objections by the Environment Agency, English Nature and BBOWT. Many carefully researched and argued objections were dismissed simply on the grounds that these bodies had not objected.

All in all a bad day for Local Democracy and the Planning System.

However, because the motion to grant permission goes against Oxfordshire County Council’s own Local Development Plan, in particular Oxfordshire Structure Plan (OSP) policy WM3 which forbids infilling with waste of a gravel pit that has been restored, whether by natural (as in the case of Thrupp Lake) or by artificial means, the matter has to be referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Ruth Kelly) who will decide how it should be determined. Within 3 weeks, she must decide whether to pass the decision back to Oxfordshire County Council, call it in for enquiry by the Planning Inspectorate, or issue a Holding Order while she considers the matter further.

It is also evident to many that the proposal goes against other planning policies, in particular OSP G4 which forbids landraising and causing harm to a visual amenity in the Greenbelt. The Committee argued their way out of that one by saying that the eventual outcome would be an acceptable replacement so any harm would be temporary(!!)

 
 

Other links relevant to this posting

Oxford Times 13 July 2006

CorpWatch

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/oxfordshire-county-council-gives-permission-to-destroy-thrupp-lake/