If you have not yet objected there is still time to do so — even though the cut off date for public objections was given as 23rd November, Dorset Council is still accepting comments submitted after this date, and will do so until just before the final planning meeting date is decided on. Please see below for detailed instructions on how to object.
Dorset council have to accept or reject the planning application on ‘material considerations’ which means they are not particularly taking into account arguments based on health, or carbon emissions.
- Material considerations can include:
- Highway safety
- Design, appearance and materials
- Nature conservation
- Overlooking/loss of privacy
- Effect on listed building and conservation area
- Layout and density of building
They will also be taking into account whether the site is needed for, or complies with the Dorset waste plan which started in 2019 (for the record, it isn’t and doesn’t!).
Should the incinerator be built and alongside it, the larger waste management plant which is also slated to occupy port land shortly afterwards, it will reframe Portland as a place of industry, which would be fundamentally detrimental to the economy and future of the region, as well as permanently destroying the iconic view of the Isle of Portland.
As you can see, aesthetic considerations — how this very large building with a chimney stack twice the height of Portland Bill lighthouse will impact on the surrounding area and the views — definitely count as a ‘material consideration’. We need to convey how sightseeing and visits to the area would be negatively impacted by a large waste incinerator dominating the landscape on that side of the Isle of Portland and the view from the coast opposite. Sightseeing tours and boat trips coming out of Weymouth would never be the same again. You’ll see that many charter skippers have signed up to the coalition already, alongside the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Skippers Association.
Many Coalition members are very much dependent on the visitors drawn to Weymouth and Portland’s reputation for historically clean air, stunning views, fresh breezes and sparkling sea waters. But Powerfuel Portland claim that the incinerator will have a negligible impact on tourism — with very little data to back up this assertion. We need to refute this with testimony from those who work within the tourism and hospitality sectors. Of course, a development of this size would impact the entire area, and do much to diminish its charms, and the impact would be felt far beyond the immediate vicinity of Portland and Weymouth.
Powerfuel Portland’s plan is to ship in waste from around the UK and abroad, to feed the burner year round. Turning the area into a centre for waste sorting and incineration, rather than tourism and hospitality, seafood and watersports. The company behind the development, Powerfuel Portland is touting itself as a “local company” based in Bridport — however, the company is run out of London is backed by Daiwa Securities Group, a giant Japanese bank with very deep pockets. Giles Frampton and Steve McnNab of Powerfuel Portland had to admitted, during the Portland Town Council meeting, that they are merely developers, not operators, and intend to sell the package on, presumably to a large corporation such as Serco or Veolia, once planning permission is granted. So it’s a big and long-term enterprise, that would change life in the area for generations.
To make a representation
The planning department have provided this link for you to make a representation:
— if you click on it, and then click ‘accept’ to accept the terms, it takes you to a section where you can upload your comments. In the comments box you can key in your objections.
If you want to add a text document, rather than write a comment in the box, you will see an “Add a document” button, (permitted file types: pdf, jpg, jpeg, png, gif, txt and no bigger than 5mb in size), which will enable you to add a ready prepared document from your computer — just make sure the document you are adding has the planning application number on it (WP/20/00692/DCC) together with your name and address, and if relevant, your business name, or who you represent on it.
When you have finished your comments, or uploaded your file, or both, then click the “submit” button.
After entering your comment make sure that you receive the email notification thanking you for your application — as otherwise it will not have been registered. There have been a few glitches with the website, so this important.
NB you can also send in your submission by email, as long as your email includes the planning application number WP/20/00692/DCC and your name and address, and who you represent: email to email@example.com
Can you also kindly forward this email to any employees, so they can consider making their own individual objections to the council to reinforce your arguments. They can do so by following the instructions above. You and they can also ask friends, partners and family to do individual objections as well!
We now stand at a crossroads. For Weymouth and Portland this could prove an an incredible opportunity to reframe our tourist industry, and take advantage of the staycationer boom, but should this massive industrial development be passed, we would sadly see the area take an irrevocable, retrograde step.