Veolia show ‘no willingness to attend public meeting’, says Lincoln MP

Councillors have accused waste company Veolia of putting their ‘own interests ahead of the local community’ after a meeting with representatives.

Lincoln MP Karen Lee has also said that Veolia did not show willingness to engage with local residents following a meeting this week about controversial proposals for a waste transfer site on Long Leys Road in Lincoln.

As previously reported, Karen Lee joined Labour city and county councillors in calling for a meeting with representatives from Veolia.

The company is appealing against Lincolnshire County Council’s decision to refuse a controversial waste transfer site on Long Leys Road.

Keith McGurk (Regional Director-East), Christian Okenyi (General Manager with responsibility for the Lincoln operation), and Victoria Cooper (Regional Communications Manager -East) met with the Lincoln MP, county councillor Robert Parker, and city councillors Neil Murray and Tony Speakman.

They backed residents’ calls for Veolia to host or attend a public meeting about the appeal, and said the company instead planned to visit residents living nearby, post information to locals and host an open day on Monday, July 31.

Karen Lee said: “If this scheme were to go ahead it would have a big impact on the daily lives of over a thousand people in the Long Leys Road area.

“So I’m really disappointed that Veolia did not show any willingness to engage with local residents at a public meeting and to listen to people’s real concerns.”

 

Veolia is working with the city council to find an alternative site, however councillors told reporters Veolia’s primary objective was to get planning permission to develop their Long Leys Road site by building a Waste Transfer station there.

Councillor Rob Parker said: “To my mind the meeting whilst cordial did not produce any positive benefits for residents beyond some maybes from Veolia. As we stand now, this big, multi-national company are clearly putting their own interests ahead of those of the local community and local people”.

Lincolnshire County Council received the planning application for a new waste transfer facility from Veolia ES (UK) Ltd in October 2016, which would be based on its current lorry depot off Long Leys Road, however councillors refused the plans on February 6.

The 12m high facility would have replaced the current depot and would have been capable of processing 46,500 tonnes of non-hazardous commercial waste each year.

During a consultation period, residents raised a number of concerns regarding the plans, some suggesting that the site would create unacceptable traffic, smells, noise, air pollution and the likelihood of vermin.

In total, 347 people opposed the application and 622 residents signed a petition against the plans.

A spokesperson for Veolia said previously: “We remain firmly of the view that development to allow enhanced activity on site is an appropriate course of action and our appeal will focus on demonstrating that to the planning authority.”

The deadline for the appeal is August 6.