At a meeting held at Sutton Civic Centre on Wednesday evening 24 April, councillors were unable to reach a decision on whether or not to approve the go-ahead for a waste incinerator on Beddington Lane. The vote resulted in an equal tie.
Sutton’s council plan to build an incinerator within the area that will generate heat and electricity. The company Viridor will run the operation in conjunction with the South London Waste partnership. But the council’s proposals have met with opposition. Locals are questioning the level of demand for this type of waste disposal and many are concerned about the health implications.
Some critics of the incinerator are running a Stop the South London Incinerator campaign to direct their concerns to the council and to inform the wider community of the environmental implications.
Head of the campaign, Dave Petterner, argued that the incinerator was a way for the council to gain profit, rather than think about the welfare of local residents. Petterner said: “My concern is that Viridor is building this incinerator purely from a profit point of view.”
He added “Historically, incinerators are placed in poor and highly polluted areas. Croydon is a borough that has been ignored for a long time, with poor health statistics. They are just adding to a bad situation and making it worse”.
A local man from Sutton, who works in the waste management sector and wished to remain anonymous, argued: “Why not incinerate? The new incinerators are virtually pollution free, it is a product that will be efficient and productive as long as people recycle”.
The council will meet again for a revote, but a date has not yet been set. Protesters say they will continue to campaign in the meantime.