St Dennis Incinerator – Councillors shell shocked at leaders decision.

Cornwall Councillors from the China Clay Area have described themselves as “shell-shocked” after discovering that Alec Robertson, the Leader of Cornwall Council, had written to Eric Pickles calling to him to uphold the planning appeal for an incinerator near St Dennis.

The application for a 240,000 tonne incinerator was refused by Cornwall County Council at a planning meeting on 26th March 2009 by 20 votes to one. Cllr Robertson was one of the councillors to vote against the proposal.

Staff from the Council’s planning service and legal professionals have since defended that decision at the Planning Inquiry which took place between March and October 2010. The inspector has produced a report / recommendations which have been forwarded to Mr Pickles who, as Secretary of State, will have the final say as to whether the incinerator is built. His decision is expected on or before the 2nd June.

Rumours about the existence of a letter from Alec Robertson to Eric Pickles had been circulating for a couple of weeks. At an informal meeting in St Austell on Monday 9th May, Cllr Dick Cole asked Alec Robertson to confirm whether such a letter existed and had been sent. When this was confirmed, Cllr Cole requested that the letter be released. The letter, dated 7th April, was made public today – more than five weeks after it was sent.

Extracts from the letter state the following:

“ … I am very keen that you appreciate the dire financial consequences for this Council if you do not uphold this particular appeal.”

“I and my Cabinet colleagues are unanimously of the view that the appeal needs to be upheld and strongly urge you to uphold it.”

These comments are in stark contrast to what Cllr Robertson said when he attended a public meeting at St Dennis on 25th September 2009 with Corporate Director Tom Flanagan, other council officers and the Conservative parliamentary candidate for the area. Local people were reassured that the Council would robustly defend the appeal.

Cllr Dick Cole (St Enoder), who co-ordinated the production of a 33,000 word ‘proof of evidence’ on behalf of the local community for the Public Inquiry, said:

“The leadership of Cornwall Council has betrayed the people of St Dennis and the China Clay Area, undermining their own planning staff in the process. They told local people that they would robustly defend the appeal. But instead and behind closed doors, they have ‘secretly’ lobbied Eric Pickles to allow the incinerator to be built. This is unforgivable.

“Alec Robertson said one thing but has done the exact opposite. He is showing a total disregard for the agreed position of Cornwall Council and the integrity of the planning process.”

Cllr Fred Greenslade (St Dennis), who is the Chairman of St Dennis Parish Council, added:

“This letter shows a willingness by Cllr Robertson to attempt to disrupt the natural path of the planning process by introducing financial pressures into the argument. As a member of a planning committee, I have been trained not to take into account financial implications when deciding my voting preference for any application.

“The Mid Cornwall Area seems to be an expendable pawn in the ‘incinerator at any cost’ mentality of the Leader and certain officers at Cornwall Council. I deplore this blatant attempt made by the Leader of the Council to influence Eric Pickles and sway a planning decision to safeguard a waste contract that is no longer fit for purpose.’’

Cllr Des Curnow (St Stephen) said:

“It would appear that the Leader has deliberately tried to interfere and influence the Secretary of State, even though he attended a Public Meeting in St Dennis where he stated he would support local people to oppose the incinerator. If this is the case he cannot be trusted to hold the position of Leader of Cornwall Council.

“His honesty and integrity is questionable. Who knows what will happen when future decisions have to be made by the Council? My respect for the Leader no longer exists.”

Background on incinerator

St Dennis Incinerator Group

St Dennis Incinerator – Latest

From Malcom at Good is Planet Earth…

Save Cornwall Before its to late!

We need your help!

Could you please pass this email on to your friends, if the incinerator at St Dennis gets the go ahead it will contaminate not only the milk but our food land & water with dioxin!

Below are a few of many comments left at

Concerned farmer and landowner William Corbett from St Mawgan, has kindly donated “£250” to the CSWN incinerator-fighting fund.Mr Corbett made the following comment:

If every milk producer within a 10 mile radius of The proposed incinerator site at St Dennis Cornwall realised that any trace of dioxins in their milk could potentially put them out of business, then maybe they would be as concerned as I am.

Comment from  Doble Quality Foods

Why we are supporting the fight
We have been passionate supporters and promoters of Cornish produce since long before it became fashionable to do so. We believe the isolation of Cornwall with the sea almost all around us gives us a less polluted growing environment than most of the UK and Europe. Add to that our climate and we have ideal growing conditions for early produce and a long, productive season. Our farmers produce excellent quality food and our fishermen catch interesting and sustainable catches from around our shores. Anything that threatens the purity of our agriculture and coastal waters needs very thorough investigation and if found wanting needs to be vigorously opposed. In our opinion we have to take heed of the pollution that has occurred in other areas where very large incinerators have been built (notably the Isle of Man) and not let it happen here in Cornwall.

comment from Isabel, Liskeard

I am worried about dioxin contamination of milk produced around the proposed incinerator. Dioxins have been linked to cancer and I haven’t seen any evidence produced by SITA or Cornwall Council that the incinerator will not produce dioxins or pose other health risks. I believe we should not take the risk of building the incinerator unless it is proven that it will not raise incidence of cancer in Cornwall.

comment from Tony, Cornwall

This is not the right solution. Any equipment that needs an outlet chimney 400ft high to try to keep its poisonous emissions from the surrounding area must be seriously flawed, and there will be no control over where those emissions do land. Dioxins have been known to be carcinogenic for decades. There should be 5 or 6 smaller units of a different design spread evenly throughout Cornwall to cut down the mileage covered by waste collection vehicles, and prevent our visitors and tourists sitting in a queue of dust carts on the A30 or A38.

here is a link to the petition where you will find hundreds of comments about the incinerator, please put your name to this and help save cornwall!

Say no to incineration and yes to Anaerobic digestion.Please sign this petition to the Secretary of State regarding proposed energy from waste incinerator site at St Dennis Cornwall. This maybe our last chance to get to grips with what SITA is trying to do to Cornwall. please follow this link <>

What is Anaerobic Digestion?

Anaerobic digestion is the natural breakdown of organic materials into methane and carbon dioxide gas and fertiliser. This takes place naturally, or in an anaerobic digester. A typical anaerobic digester is a sealed vessel, or series of vessels, in which bacteria act without oxygen. The organic material contents need to be fully mixed and warmed, usually to blood temperature. Biogas is the name given to the mixture of gases formed during the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes.Biogas consists of methane (c70%) and carbon dioxide (c30%)….

It can be used in stationary engines to generate electricity, but it is not suitable as a vehicle fuel. After removing the carbon dioxide (and other trace gases using a variety of methods in a process known as upgrading) the remaining methane is known as Renewable Natural Gas or Biomethane.

Biomethane is virtually identical to natural gas, the main difference being that it is produced in days, rather than taking millions of years, billions of years ago.

The uses for biomethane are therefore as varied as are those for natural gas, for heating, cooling, as a source of chemicals, fertiliser or hydrogen.

When used as a vehicle fuel, biomethane is, without doubt, the world’s cleanest and most environmentally friendly fuel.

Carbon dioxide is valued for its properties as an inert gas, for heat transfer, and as a solvent.
Common uses include:

fire extinguisher systems
carbonation of soft drinks
freezing or chilling of food products
decaffeination of coffee
shield gas in welding
oil extraction; pumped into an oil well it dissolves the oil
respiration stimulant for medical use
propellant in aerosol cans
food production in greenhouses
in its supercritical form, as the most environmentally friendly solvent
Compost produced from a thorough and complete treatment system such as the Maltin® System ensures that all the material is broken down into its most basic chemical components with:

no contaminants
no smell when dry or when wetted
no pathogens
no weed seeds
In a thorough system such as the Maltin® System there is no waste product.
At Organic Power we maintain that WASTE is merely the result of poor or incomplete processing. A properly designed process will not produce any waste

CANCER. Some of the substances emitted from incinerator stacks, including cadmium, PAHs and dioxin (TCDD), have been classified as human carcinogens or likely/possible human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (McGregor et al. 1998, see Elliot et al. 1996). A number of studies have been undertaken on cancer incidence on populations living near to incinerators or other industrial sites. The majority of these studies have found an association between elevated rates of cancers and living close to incinerators or other industrial sites, including childhood cancer. Most research in this field necessitates consideration of exposure to material released from incinerators over a number of years because the time taken for cancer to develop (the latency period) is long for many cancers. Source of information

PLEASE sign the petition at before its to late for cornwall
here is a link as to what is happening eltswhere regarding incinerators

if you would like to make a Donation to the CSWN incinerator fighting fund

we will give your business free advertising at with every donation made.

many thanks


STIG Press Release MAY 2009



In recent months, some people have tried to suggest that the only choice for waste management in Cornwall is between landfill or incineration.

This misrepresentation has led to claims of crippling costs to taxpayers when the incinerator was refused planning permission.

This is not the case – there are other modern, clean and proven technologies for waste treatment such as anaerobic digestion and autoclave separation which would benefit the Cornish economy and the local environment, as well as providing far more jobs than the rejected incinerator ever would.

They could be up and running before 2012, which was the earliest the incinerator would have been operational.

In reality, there is a cost neutral window of opportunity that could allow Cornwall to opt for the best of technologies, instead of the worst, and make a profit.

A new solution to Cornwall’s waste needs to be found, as a matter of urgency.

STIG is already working with others, including Cornwall Sustainable Waste Network, Transition Cornwall Network and Enough is Enough campaigners, towards this end

Together we are determined that community will not be set against community in a manufactured contest between landfill and incineration. There is a better, fairer

way forward.

We hope that the new Council will protect and enhance Cornwall’s environment for the future, so STIG will be asking all councillors elected in June to work with local communities towards a decentralised and sustainable Waste Strategy for Cornwall which excludes Incineration and moves away from Landfill

Meanwhile STIG has written to ALL Council Candidates asking for their support in making this a priority, if elected.

Patricia Blanchard

STIG Secretary

What next for Cornwall’s waste?

The incinerator planning refusal, while considered a good outcome by many, still leaves Cornwall with the same waste problems that the incinerator was intended to resolve.  So where do we go from here?

One idea that we’ve recently been looking into is a process called Thermal Depolymerisation, a system whereby organic waste is ground down, mixed with water and then ‘pressure cooked’ to break it down at a molecular level. Without going into too much technical detail it essentially mimics the Earth’s own oil production system but at a much faster rate.

The end result of the waste conversion is a form of bio-diesel that is pretty much pure enough to be put directly into a vehicles fuel tank. Where this system really impresses is that another by-product is a gas that can be burnt to create the energy required to actually run the process. A self-contained system that requires none, or very little, initial energy input.

Although this process is still being developed and fine tuned, it does look very promising. For example, imagine a scenario where you take your rubbish to the local tip and in return for doing so you have your fuel tank topped up with free bio-diesel.

Organic materials that can be processed  include wood, leaves, grass, food, paper, plastic, paint, cotton, synthetic fabrics, sludge from sewage, animal parts, bacteria, any carbohydrates, or hydrocarbons.  Also included is all agricultural waste which is now burned in the fields or buried.

This video shows a TDP plant in operation and explains more about the process.

Could this be the answer not only to Cornwall’s waste management, but also provide green clean alternatives for our future fuel requirements?


Thermal Depolymerisation plant.

I have followed energy technology all my professional life. In short – Catalytic Depolymerization is the first technology I have seen which seems able to solve all the problems and seems ready to deploy now with no unknowns. CDP can supply the world’s energy and will not ruin the environment. In fact CDP will also eliminate landfill and not upset the CO2 balance. -Jim Trounson

A victory for common sense – a victory for Kernow.

Watching anxiously as events unfold.

Watching anxiously as events unfold.

Cornwall County Council planning commitee voted 20 to 1 against Sita’s plans to build a huge incinerator at St Dennis in Mid Cornwall. Despite recommendations to approve the plans from a Council planning officer the overwhelming feeling and debate was strongly opposed to it. Dick Cole, Matthew Taylor MP and a large majority of councilors took their turn to speak out against the project while campaigners from the St Dennis Anti-incinerator Group and members of the public watched anxiously downstairs in the viewing area. After a short lunch break the vote was finally taken; twenty votes against, one in favour and one abstained. As celebrations began outside County Hall a Sita representative was seen driving off in a hurry.

A truly remarkable outcome and proof that people power really can influence what happens in our Duchy. The STIG group was praised by both councillors and MPs for their outstanding research, determination and professional approach to their well thought out and well presented campaign. This was a victorious day for Cornwall and its people.

Celebrations outside County Hall as the result sinks in.

Celebrations outside County Hall as the result sinks in.

Relief for campaigners after a long hard fight.

Relief for campaigners after a long hard fight.

Final resting place for the banners and flags.

Final resting place for the banners and flags.