Dear Sir,

The views that I express in this letter are my own personal views and not necessarily those of Great Aycliffe Town Council or any of its members.

I refer to last week’s letter to the Newton News from Eileen Brewis on the proposed incinerator to be built on Aycliffe Business Park.

This was an exceptionally well-written and informative letter. I agree with every point that Eileen makes on this issue. So far, all of the meetings and the letter from Fornax have been, in my opinion, nothing more than platforms promoting the development.

• What benefits can the population of Great Aycliffe expect from the proposed development of the high temperature incinerator on Aycliffe Business Park?

1. The quality of air

In the plan, there is a stack (chimney) 100ft high. Chimneys are usually used to remove noxious substances and gasses from the site and disperse them into the atmosphere. What are these substances? It appears to me that we will only know when the site is operational. How will this contamination of air quality improve and be of benefit to the people of Great Aycliffe?

2. The most important and worrying question – how will this be of benefit to our health?

This is a quote from ‘Air Quality Assessment Hazardous Waste Incinerator, Heighington Lane Environmental Report, April 2021’.

‘The emissions from the proposed facility during the modelled operation scenario would contain a number of substances that cannot be evaluated in terms of their effects on health simply by reference to the ambient air quality standard. Health effects could occur through exposure results other than by purely inhalation. As such, an assessment needs to be made of the overall human exposures to the substances by the local population and the risk that this exposure causes.’

3. Will the development improve our environment?

There are concerns over this issue, especially the effects of contaminated liquids entering protection zone on the magnesian limestone principle aquifer.

4. Will the development have any benefits in attracting new jobs to the area, apart from the two dozen or so at this site?

I recently spoke at length to the director of a large firm operating on the business park (it is no longer an industrial park, but a business park with a large number of non-industrial outlets). He believed that this proposed development could well deter future development and extension of current businesses, not only on the Merchant Place site, but also on other sites on the business park. Needless to say, he was totally opposed to the proposed development. Other businesses are also concerned and opposed to the development.

In my view, the only people who will gain from this development are the shareholders of Fornax. This is not a municipal waste disposal site but is purely there for the profit of the shareholders of Fornax. I can see no benefit to the people living in Great Aycliffe and indeed we can only expect negative effects to our future wellbeing.

Bob Fleming