On 19th July the LLRA’s Gary Stimson, Jon Davies and Tony Wass had the opportunity to meet representatives from Veolia in Lincoln. The meeting was to allow the LLRA to put questions to Veolia on their planned appeal on the Long Leys waste transfer station planning application and to explain the LLRA’s position to Veolia.
This meeting was arranged at short notice (with some committee members diverting from work for a lunchtime meeting) so there was insufficient time to ask residents to submit questions. The questions below, labelled FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), were asked on behalf of residents by the LLRA. Answers were summarised by an LLRA note taker rather than verbatim answers being recorded. As a follow up, Veolia were given the opportunity to comment, to ensure that summarised answers fairly reflected their original intent. As a result, some small amendments have been made to the original article which clarified rather than changed answers.
* by an answer indicates it has been amended on 24 July to clarify rather than change answer
Veolia have agreed that residents can put further questions to them, via the LLRA. Please either add your questions in the comments section on this page or email them to LLRA@long-leys.org if you prefer not to have your name published on the website. Responses received from Veolia will be added to this page. Please do read the questions and answers here first though, to check if your question has already been answered.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
What’s new in the Veolia appeal, compared to the original planning application refused on 6 February?
* Veolia’s proposed plans remain the same as those submitted in the original application. Veolia disagree with the original decision and feel the Planning Inspectorate may decide differently on the same facts. As part of the appeal Veolia do need to provide ‘new’ documentation in the appeal submission (not least a Statement of Case).
Veolia have been offered other sites for this activity by Lincoln City Council. Why have you not actively engaged with them?
Veolia have been engaging with the council on alternative sites. However, a big stumbling block to any relocation plan is that Veolia have a lease commitment on the Long Leys site until 2104. The cost to Veolia of keeping the Long Leys site empty whilst paying rent for another 87 years makes moving to any other site commercially unviable. The landowner will not allow Veolia to sell the lease to another company unless the new company had a credit rating similar to Veolia’s. There would be a fear that the new company may default on rental payments. Not many companies want to commit to an 87-year lease with no break clause.
Why don’t you like the Great Northern Terrace site that has been talked about?
Veolia’s 87-year lease is the main problem when considering a move to another site but there is also not sufficient space at Great Northern Terrace for Veolia’s needs; operations would have to be split on opposite sides of the road.
When do you anticipate filing your appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol?
It needs to be filed by Sunday 6th August 2017; it is likely to be submitted during week commencing 31st July 2017.
In your appeal, what form of appeal hearing will you ask for from the Planning Inspectorate (written submission, informal hearing, public inquiry)?
Veolia expect the Planning Inspectorate will choose written submission or informal hearing but they would also be happy with a public inquiry. It will be the Planning Inspectorate’s decision which format is chosen.
(LLRA Note – we understand from county planning officer that he will recommend a public inquiry format at which residents can speak)
How long do you think the appeal will take?
That’s down to the Planning Inspectorate but it could be a couple of months or it could take 6 months depending on the format of the appeal.
Does your appeal address the requirements of the recently introduced 2017 Central Lincolnshire Plan (CLP)?
The CLP is a material aspect that the Planning Inspectorate will consider.
When will Veolia start work on construction on the site if they win the appeal?
If Veolia win the appeal then they will produce a timetable for construction; they will need final internal approvals for the investment and start after that depending on workloads.
What will Veolia do if they lose the appeal?
Not sure. Veolia will cross that bridge when they come to it.
We understand that you are seeking support from the landowners on restricting operating hours on your site. Is that the case?
No. Veolia are not looking for anything from the landowner. The operating hours of the existing business will be 24/7 and the new business will operate 7am-6pm Mon-Fri and 7am-5pm Sat. This was stated in planning documents submitted to the original planning decision meeting and will be the same in the appeal.
Have you a written agreement from the landowners to allow a restriction on operating hours on the land?
I understand that the landowners have toured your Kirkby In Ashfield site as an example of the operational standards that Veolia can deliver, Is this an example of Veolia at its best?
* It was selected as it is the most recently constructed facility. The facility in Kirkby takes household waste rather than commercial waste and opened in March 2017. The unit produces RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) from domestic waste which is shredded, baled, wrapped and exported. The facility in Kirkby is experiencing some challenges at the moment which Veolia will resolve.
Why do you need to make Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) out of waste?
There is little option for waste to be sent to landfill now and it will be even harder in the future. Items either need to be recycled or incinerated.
What would be the waste you receive in Lincoln?
It would be pre-segregated materials for recycling (i.e. glass, tins, cardboard/paper, etc.) and ‘residual’ material (i.e. mixed ‘black bag’ type waste) from commercial customers such as retailers, light factory units or schools. The recyclable materials will be transferred to appropriate recycling facilities, whilst the residual material will be shredded into RDF.
Why do you not site your plant next to an incinerator that will burn the RDF such as the one at Teal Park in North Hykeham?
* Teal Park ERF (Energy Recovery Facility) is operated by a private company called FCC who have a contract with the County Council and their incinerator is sized to burn mainly local household waste. They do not have capacity to take much additional tonnage from commercial sources however if they did it, this would be the subject of agreement on commercial terms. By creating an RDF the fuel can potentially be transported to other consented recovery facilities.
Residents are concerned about the way the current site is operated, let alone a new one. How can you re-assure them?
Veolia needs Environmental Permits to operate. If Veolia don’t operate according to the permit then they would face difficulty and the Environment Agency would take enforcement action.
What should residents do if they see activities they are concerned about on your site?
If residents have any concerns about the site they can either contact the site manager or visit the Veolia website to give feedback. Veolia will do their best to address any concerns. Contact information is given on the signage board next to the site.
(LLRA Note: Breaches of Environmental permits should be reported to the Environment Agency).
The LLRA took the opportunity to express the community’s view on the Veolia appeal
- There was universal opposition to Veolia’s original application from the community, local business and elected councillors. Since there is nothing new in Veolia’s planned appeal the LLRA has a mandate to oppose this. The Stop Veolia Action Group (SVAG), not connected to the LLRA, will also oppose Veolia’s appeal.
- The LLRA are looking for support for their position from elected officials at Lincoln City council and the County council as well as from our newly elected MP.
- The LLRA understand from the County planning manager (Neil McBride) that his team will be recommending a public inquiry in the event of an appeal.
- At any public inquiry, the LLRA may, along with SVAG, be applying for rule 6 status. The LLRA understand from SVAG that it is their intention that the community will have professional representation.
- Since there is nothing new in Veolia’s appeal, it is unlikely that Veolia will sway the views of Long Leys residents. However, the LLRA will relay communication of factual information between Veolia and the local community.
Both parties agreed to continue a dialogue as issues arise.
Version 1.3 24 July 2017 (* indicates slightly revised answers to further clarify original summarised answer)
Version 1.2 19 July 2017 Jon Davies LLRA Secretary
What Others Are Saying:Comments are moderated. See our Comments Policy for further details.
Matt Benson says
Thanks for posing these questions and giving insight into the process. It was clear from the outset that this is about profitability rather than any responsibility to the community and this new information about the long lease confirms that further. Let’s hope that the planning inspectorate make the same conclusions as the council. Why wouldn’t they? Is there something that the council missed in the original application that the inspectorate would see grounds to overturn the original decision…?
John Shipton says
By now, local residents would have received and read a leaflet given published by Veolia. . My one was hand delivered and posted through my letter box. Nothing has changed since Lincolnshire County Council rejected their planning application.
They claim the following…
a) a promise to keep residents informed about their plans
b) the company holds a long term lease for the site and wish to expand operations to create a Wast Transfer Station to accommodate their business and other businesses in which they serve
c) they make claims of employing 42 people which is said to be a contributory factor to the local economy
d) the existing building and depot will be enhanced by replacing and building on site a new and larger building to accommodate all of the new activity that will take place..They say that the WTS will not operate at night and sets out the proposed hours of operation Monday to Saturday. They have proposals to improve access to the site.
e) there is an invitation for local residents to attend their Open Day at the depot on Monday, 31st July 2017 but due to a limited number of visitors that can be on the site at any one time. and because of safety regulations, one has to book a place by sending an e-mail to email@example.com
For further information concerning developing a WTS for Long Leys Road, the advice is to visit their web site on http://www.veolia.co.uk/lincoln-wts
Veolia are determined to have their WTS on Long Leys Road and were surprised at their public consultation held at The Grandstand on the West Common in Lincoln about the objections being made by local residents – see https://thelincolnite.co.uk/2017/01/veolia-surprised-mass-objections-lincoln-waste-factory/ The meeting was advertised on various web sites such as this one on http://truckerworld.uk/posts/2017/01/another-chance-to-have-your-say-on-veolias-proposed-waste-transfer-station-in-lincoln/
It was said by residents attending that one of the public relations team representing Veolia received questions from the floor which went unanswered. There was a similar response from the rest of the PR team of questions that went unanswered as well. Then later that one name was found to be the director for the Eastern Region.
A number of residents receiving the leaflet distributed by Veolia suspect their neighbourly approach to the Long Leys Road area of Lincoln. All seems nice and rosy in fitting themselves behind Curtis’s and saying that their WTS is acceptable..
This is just one comment made by e-mail “How kind of Veolia to let us know that it is beneficial for their business that they expand their existing premises ! Not a mention or care of the fact that the whole of the Long Leys area objected strongly and this has been understood and acknowledged. Just a false ‘Dear neighbour’ note to inform us they intend to press ahead regardless. Given that money and profitability are the main consideration in this county, I fear this time they will be successful in spite of the mass opposition by the people actually affected, it’s a deeply flawed approach but sadly endemic in our city and the wider society.”
Hopefully, Karen Lee MP, in meeting with Veolia, will bring some sense to the table as it did with Scunthorpe’s MP – see http://www.nicdakin.com/proposed_waste_transfer_station_at_bottesford and suddenly, without warning, Veolia’s planning application for a WTS was withdrawn – see http://humberbusiness.com/news/firm-withdraws-application-for-waste-transfer/story-5306-detail/story
Hopefully, the appealed to be made by Veolia for their WTS on Long Leys Road will be withdrawn at the last minute.
David Smith says
I was interested to note that Veolia are facing ‘challenges at a new WTS at Kirkby in Ashfield (‘challenges’ is always an interesting word in this context)
A quick look on the web for ‘Veolia at Kirkby in Ashfield’ brought up the following;
In Dec 2016 Keith McGurk, regional director for Veolia, told Lincolnshire Live ( in respect of the proposed new development on Long Leys Road;
“This will be a modern, well-designed, well-built and well-managed facility operated and controlled under an environmental statutory permit issued and monitored by the Environment Agency. “I understand the concerns that residents have but our own internal procedures are already of a very high standard. “However, we don’t just want to rely on being a good organisation – if we don’t get it right we can’t operate.”
Mr McGurk added: “We don’t make waste smell. It’s our job to control that and manage that properly and we will have controls in place to control dust and odour. “We are a large, multi-national business that’s expert in its field.
I wonder if the people of Kirkby in Ashfield received similar assurances prior to the construction of their WTS