Sunday, 28 November 2010

Brent: Waste Capital of West London?

The West London Waste Authority, covering the boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Ealing, Hounslow and  Richmond, is seeking to process and dispose of more of the rubbish in its area, in order to meet targets in the 2009 London Plan. It is suggested an extra 20 hectares of processing will be required on top of the existing 17 hectares in the WLWA area.

This will require new sites or the expansion of existing sites so that they process rather than merely transport rubbish. The Harrow Observer recently revealed the lists of sites being considered for this 'intensification'. Four are in Brent and another five in Park Royal, close to Ealing's border with Brent. That covers 9 of the 14 possibilities  (The others are one in Harrow, 3  in Hillingdon and one in Hounslow. There are none proposed in Richmond).

BRENT: Abbey Road, Park Royal; Rail Sidings, Premier Park Road, PR; Alperton Lane Industrial Area, Marsh Road; Hannah Close, Great Central Way, Wembley. 
EALING: Park Royal 8, Coronation Road; Park Royal 9, Coronation Road; Park Royal 2, Chase Road; Park Royal 1, Victoria Road; Atlas Road, Park Royal.

These proposals are for designating land and no details of the processing involved will be available at this stage in the consultation.  Therefore residents will not have access information on the possible health hazards of the processes involved when the sites are given planning approval. Brent sites are favoured because it is claimed they are not close to housing. It is like designating an area for a power station and not syai9ng whether it is coal, oil or nuclear.

Brent councillors were unhappy about the repercussions for Brent when the proposals were discussed. There are concerns that Brent will be handling waste from more affluent boroughs who will avoid any prcessing depots in their borough, increased lorry traffic and pollution. Brent, as the poorest of the boroughs will be dealing with the waste of the richer boroughs - without any financial compensation. It appears that the Alperton depot, owned by Veolia (controversial because of its pro-illegal settler activities in Palestine LINK), is likely to be a favoured option. It won the Camden waste contract largely because of the Alperton depot - Camden had sold off its own.

It is interesting that Brent is the most easterly of the WLWA boroughs. The east side of London was always the site of polluting processes historically because smoke and smells were taken away on the prevailing winds and did not affect the west of the city.

The West London Waste Plan  is behind schedule but key milestones for the contractors are:

March 2011 - Publication of the WLWP document and sustainability proposal
April-May 2001 - pre-qualification of bidders
May-June 2011 - WLWP examination in public
December 2011 - WLWP adopted
January 2012 - short-listing of bidders
June 2012 - possible further short-listing of bidders
September 2012 - final tenders
October 2012 - preferred bidder/tender award

2012-14 Planning
2014-16 Construction of new plants
2015-16 Plants operational

Brent councillors will have to have their wits about them if they are to fight for the rights of Brent residents in this process. We must not be bought off by promises of extra jobs if this is to the detriment of the long-term health and quality of life of Brent residents.

An independent blog-site has been set up to monitor the activities of the West London Waste Authority LINK

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