Waiting With Faith

The inquiry has finished and now?  This week was the last of the inquiry. Closing statements were made on Tuesday and the Inspector’s accompanied site visit was on Wednesday.

Closing Statements

I don’t want to go into depth on the statements, but we were happy with both ours and the Council’s closings. Regarding Sky’s closing statement and subsequent decision to attempt to rebut ours on an almost paragraph by paragraph basis, we should consider this the sincerest form of flattery.. there must have been something of value to rebut? It seemed in my subjective opinion that instead of pushing the benefits of the application and standing behind the strength of their experts technical evidence, they spent much more time trying to cast doubt over the expertise of the witnesses the opposition had presented. I guess this is just one of those planning inquiry “games” that the barristers occasionally referred to during the process.. if you fail to disprove the evidence, attack the witnesses credibility.  Either way, the Inspector has all the evidence now and given the thorough and fair manner in which he has conducted the inquiry, we can expect the decision to be made on the basis of the evidence rather than petty snipes at our witnesses.

Site Visit

Both myself and Councillor Stone attended the site visit, along with representatives from the Council and Sky. During the morning we walked the Canal and had a good look around the Green Lane area. There was one thing that we didn’t see that struck me as important and that was HGVs. In the 2-3 hours (9am-11:30ish) we spent around Green Lane.. we only saw 2 HGVs.  This presented a stark contrast with the 800-900 HGVs per day Sky suggested were currently using the road. It was also good to stand on the site too. While much focus has been put on discussing the stack, the enormity of the other buildings becomes much more clear. The sizable buildings on the O’Connor site are actually only half the height of the proposed buildings and that doesn’t include the height of the stack. They really would dominate the area.

Going to JWS in Salford confirmed this too, the processing buildings are huge (about 20-25m high). The visit re-enforced some of our concerns around the proposal. On arriving we were given a Health & Safety presentation where we could see all the processes and procedures the company claims keep it compliant with regulations. Immediately after, we walked out of the office and were met by a JWS collection truck carrying a skip full of rubbish, open and un-sheeted. When noticed, the Operations Manager for JWS told us that it should have been sheeted and that the driver should get a disciplinary for the non-compliance. The driver obviously hadn’t read the numerous policies and procedures neatly pinned all over the JWS office walls. It begs the question, if an operation fails to get it’s own employees to comply with such regulations, what luck are they going to have with contractors? Not the greatest start to the visit and with the following display of an overfilled processing building, with waste pouring out of the door into the open air.. things didn’t get much better.

The end of the JWS visit formally concluded that part of the inquiry.

The Wait

I’ve had countless people approach me in recent days to ask whether or not the development will be stopped.  The answer is that we simply don’t know.  Starting the inquiry it seemed like common sense. Of course the Inspector will dismiss the appeal.. when you look at the area, it’s aspirations, existing traffic, air quality and health problems, the development just doesn’t make sense.  But, having heard Sky’s witnesses skillfully massage statistics and selectively include/exclude information to present their message in the best light.. the water becomes somewhat more muddied.

We have done all we can now. We have presented our evidence and shown the signifcant level of opposition to the plan. While we haven’t had the same financial resources to throw at this, we have had something that money can’t buy.. the truth. Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend and speak at the inquiry, as well as those who submitted written representations. It really motivated us to work harder as we knew how important this was and is to the community.

There’s not much more we can do now, except wait. We are at a critical cross-roads for the future of Monton, Eccles and Salford. One road will drag us back to a time of heavy industry where we can once again “take one for the team” and have our quality of life diminished for the sake of those who want to make their money regardless of the impact on others. The other road, is the one we’ve been travelling for the last 10 years. One where we not only continue to regenerate our community, but also take part in moulding the future of our area and aspire to bringing “real” sustainable developments like those envisioned by the Bridgewater Masterplan.

This is a momentous decision which will affect not only our futures but our children’s futures.  While we have no evidence of which way this will go, we have to have some faith that common sense, democracy and humanity will prevail.

Now we wait.


Note to Community Speakers

If you have registered to speak at the inquiry, or would like to register to speak. There will now be two sessions dedicated to members of the community.

The Inspector has asked us to get in touch to let you know that he has now clarified the schedule and will be holding two sessions where you can have your say.  The following two sessions at Monton House Hotel have been set aside:
Wednesday May 16th: 6pm-9pm
Friday May 25th: 9:30am- 1:30pm

If you wish to speak and are unable to make any of these days, please contact the Council’s Programme officer Frances Taylor on 07545 422 714.

Resounding Fundraiser Success. Thank You!!

Last night saw Worsley Golf Club invaded by campaigners, residents and the wider community for the Say No campaign fundraising evening.

With the lulls in activity associated with such a long stretched campaign (2.5 years to date), it can be difficult to predict the outcome or attendance of ongoing events. When I arrived at the Golf Club at 7pm, there were two cars in the car park and around 5 people in the provided room itself.  As time rolled on, more and more people arrived. First the tables around the dancefloor filled, then the tables towards the back of the room until eventually we needed to request more chairs to be brought out. In turn, they filled too.. leaving only standing room around the bar. It looked a little like this:


Sorry about quality; It was dark and there was wine involved.


The outcome and attendance was nothing less than phenomenal.  A ridiculously big THANK YOU to Jan, Kirsteen, Paula and everyone else who contributed to the event.  While the task of raising funds in by no means over.. last night brought us within reach of the funding required to progress with the inquiry.

The evening has reminded me exactly how much everyone cares about this issue.  It’s time for us to collectively double our efforts, go that extra mile and put this application where it belongs.. in the trash!! 




Public Meeting – March 4th 2pm- Worsley Golf Club

Please attend this meeting next week. We will be giving an update on our campaign and explaining the next steps in fighting the appeal.

Please feel free to print and distribute this poster. We need you and appreciate your continued support.

We are raising funds.

It has been some time since our last update on the website.  This has been due to a mixture of inactivity and other events. Most recently, our first batch of documentation was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate last week and we continue to monitor the process as developments occur.

The appeal is now scheduled to begin on May 9th. Please book this date in your diary as we will need every person able to be there. Further details will follow, but keep May 9th in mind.

Most importantly we have identified a need for legal support to assist our group through-out the inquiry.  In order to get this, we need support from you. Our fund raising is progressing but above all else we need more donations.

Jan Phelan, Kirsteen McGarva and Maxine Coyle have been working hard to facilitate this and as a result of their hard-work we have started to gain momentum in building our fighting fund.  I, along with a number of our committee members, have pledged £100 each to the fighting fund, to help get us started. We have also recently received assistance from Worsley Golf Club who have unanimously agreed to support our cause. Despite this we are still a fair way from our required funding target to attain the legal support we need.

This is my personal plea to you to please, please, please contribute to our fighting fund. The members of this campaign continue to commit significant amounts of time and effort to fight this inquiry, but at this moment in time we need your financial support.

Please send cheques payable to “Monton Village Community Association” with covering letter with your name & address. Send it to: Say No Campaign, 24 Canal Bank, Monton, Eccles M30 8AF.

If you would like to donate via Paypal.. please contact info@greenlaneecodump.org (NOTE: do not pay directly to this email. We will provide PayPal account details on request.)

If you have any questions, please email us on the address above.


Over 50 reasons why Green Lane is the wrong site for a Recycling Plant (MRF)

In the latter stages of the run up to the Council panel meeting in June, Sky Properties finally provided an indication of who may be running the recycling plant in their planned facility. In fact, they even got a letter of support from JWS Waste and Recycling Services. JWS run another recycling plant in Fredrick Rd in Salford. You may remember this plant hitting the news recently, when mothers and children blocked the entrance to plant:


Families referred to the plant as “a living hell” further claiming that people living nearby were plagued by noise and dust from the site and by flies in hot weather.

We have maintained since the original proposal for this plant, that this living hell would be the reality. Additionally, a recycling plant would be a serious safety hazard so close to homes and children’s play areas. The noise, smell and pests could be considered just one of the 50 reasons why Mr. Hirsch needs to rethink recycling at this site. Safety, however, trumps these and gives us our next 50. A quick search on Google reveals exactly how much of a problem fire safety in particular is a problem for MRF plants. In the last two years, Google shows the following incidents of MRF Fires:

Number Date Location
1 14 April 2009 Hartlepool
2 26 May 2009 Port Talbot
3 22 June 2009 Bolton
4 22 July 2009 Walsall
5 10 August 2009 Dewsbury
6 25 August 2009 Lincolnshire
7 05 March 2010 Derry
8 18 March 2010 Grantham
9 21 April 2010 Edmonton
10 10 May 2010 Doncaster
11 20 May 2010 Enderby
12 27 May 2010 Ford
13 19 June 2010 Kilmarnock
14 06 July 2010 Brent
15 14 July 2010 Neath
16 02 August 2010 Mill Hill
17 03 August 2010 Bolton
18 30 August 2010 Edinburgh
19 31 August 2010 Bolton
20 01 October 2010 Buckley
21 01 October 2010 Ilkeston
22 03 November 2010 Huntingdon
23 23 December 2010 Pontllanfraith
24 14 January 2011 Norton
25 19 January 2011 Norton
26 05 February 2011 Huntingdon
27 09 February 2011 Ellesmere Port
28 01 March 2011 Croydon
29 13 March 2011 Stourton
30 20 March 2011 Hetton-le-hole
31 20 March 2011 Southampton
32 23 April 2011 Lye
33 23 April 2011 Brighton
34 24 April 2011 Kingswinford
35 29 April 2011 Sunderland
36 29 April 2011 Telford
37 30 April 2011 Liverpool
38 02 May 2011 Tyneside
39 03 May 2011 Loughborough
40 03 May 2011 Suffolk
41 03 May 2011 Thirsk
42 04 May 2011 Caerwent
43 16 May 2011 St Albans
44 20 May 2011 Leatherhead
45 21 May 2011 Sunderland
46 31 May 2011 Hereford
47 03 June 2011 Sleaford
48 07 June 2011 Poole
49 09 June 2011 Haverhill
50 15 June 2011 Hereford
51 24 June 2011 Lincoln
52 30 June 2011 Tameside
53 05 July 2011 Orsett
54 12 July 2011 Oldham

Surprising that one of these is actually happening in Oldham on the day I decided to write this post.  There is clearly an issue here. One the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) need to investigate to a conclusion. Does Mr. Hirsch really think it’s appropriate to have one of these overlooking a children’s park?  These are some of many reasons that we continue to prepare to fight an appeal. Watch this space for updates.

VE Day – Victory in Eccles Day

On the 2nd June 2011, Salford Council rejected the Sky Properties proposal to blight the city with a waste burning incinerator.

Nearly 300 people packed out the Salford Suite at the Swinton Civic Centre to show their opposition to the application.  After representations from both objectors and the applicant, the Planning Panel debated the plans to finally come to the conclusion.. “Salford Council Unanimously Says No”.  We do not want it, we do not need it and we will not take it.

This is not only a victory for the city but also for democracy. The developers strenuous attempts to dupe both the public and Council into accepting this nightmare have categorically FAILED.

On behalf of the campaign group, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us in this struggle. Quality of life for the many has indeed overcome the greed of the few.  The community has remained united through-out this 18 month battle and we can now enjoy some short but welcome respite from this attack on our homes.

We are once again willing to extend the hand of reconciliation to Mr. Hirsch, so we may come to a compromise on an alternative use for the land, which would be of mutual benefit to both Sky and the community.  For the avoidance of any doubt, should he fail to accept that hand and decide to go to appeal as he as already indicated, we promise him this:

For every objection letter sent so far, we will send three.

For every petition signature so far, we will get four.

For every “truth” we have told, we will tell five.

The Council stood up for the people of Salford this week and should there be an appeal, we re going to do the same for them.


Press Release: New report into proposed incinerator reveals shocking statistics on hazardous fumes

With a decision on the proposed Green Lane Incinerator looming this week, a new report reveals that levels of toxic pollutants in the area surrounding the planned site are already at or above legal limits set by the European Commission.

If the incinerator is given the go ahead, the addition of a further 1000 HGVs a week to local roads and emissions from the incinerator itself, will see those levels soar.
The pollutants -including PM10 -have been linked to asthma in children and increased risk of mortality in people with pre-existing heart or respiratory conditions. Local resident campaign group, ʻSay No to the Green Lane Incineratorʼ plan to use the results of this study to oppose the plans when the planning panel meet on Thursday 2nd June to make a decision on whether to allow the Incinerator to be built.

They will protest outside Swinton Civic Centre on Thursday morning ahead of the planning panel and several members of the group will speak at the meeting to voice their concerns. Opposition to the proposal has been overwhelming with more than 4000 petition signatures gathered and over 1000 letters of objection submitted to the council leaving them in no doubt about the strength of feeling within the local community.

During their 18 month fight to stop the incinerator, campaigners have raised concerns about the emission of dioxins which are linked to cancer and birth defects and say they are seriously worried about the safety of the plant. In addition to highlighting potential health risks, the group will also be objecting to the
increased traffic the plant will bring. There are already 750 HGV movements a day on Green Lane, if the plant goes ahead this number will rise to 1000 which equates to one every thirty seconds during a normal working day. Local roads are simply not equipped to deal with that level and type of traffic.

Other issues include the proximity of the proposed plant to local amenities and its effects on the local environment. If given the green light, the incinerator situated just 50m from a children’s park and 100m from a school -will process nearly a quarter of a million tonnes of waste per year, 80,000 tonnes of which will be incinerated in a “gasification chamber”.

Council Meeting Rescheduled – We Will Have Our Opportunity To Speak

UPDATE 29/05/2011: The Council planning panel will be meeting in the morning of the 2nd June. We will be demonstrating outside the main entrance of the civic centre from 8:30am. After this we will be heading into the Salford Suite, where the meeting will take place.

We urge everyone to make best efforts to attend both the demo and the meeting. To attend the meeting, please let the Council know that you intend to do this.

Fill in the following form to register:

Application Numbers: 10/59092/OUTEIA & 10/59093/FULEIA

Alternatively, you can call this number to register:
0161 793 2602

We will be there to state our grounds for opposition. We appreciate any and all support you can give. See you there on Thursday.


We have fantastic news.  The Council has decided that due to massive opposition to this application, it is necessary to reschedule the panel meeting where the final decision will be made.  We have learned that the format of the meeting will be changed, so that all those who want to speak at the meeting will be given an opportunity to do so.

You may remember that we recently complained that Sly Properties were given the opportunity to do a full presentation to the planning panel without any objectors present.  As a result we launched a barrage of calls, emails and letters to the council requesting that we also be given an opportunity to present our side of this argument in full. This request was denied.

Cllr Lisa Stone Hands 4000 Signature Petition to Derek Antrobus, Lead Member For Planning at Salford City Council

In what can only be seen as an about-turn  re-assessment of the situation, the date of the planning meeting has been moved to the 2nd of June and will occur in revised format.  It is yet to be confirmed, but the meeting may now be held for the full day and objectors will be given significantly more scope to state their case.

Well done to everyone who’s been calling, emailing and posting letters. Our opposition to the incinerator remains absolute. We do not want it, do not need it and will not take it.


THE CIVIC CENTRE DEMO HAS NOW BEEN TENTATIVELY  RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 2nd (We appreciate that people may have already booked time off work for this and will have to change dates again, but despite the Council’s seemingly unorganised operations, we really need your support, stick with us. We will only stop this together).