SOUTH West Wiltshire MP Dr Andrew Murrison is seeking clarity on Government policy in relation to the proposed Westbury energy from waste incinerator.

He has written to Environment Secretary George Eustice ahead of anticipated Environment Agency and Wiltshire Council rulings on Northacre Renewable Energy’s applications for an operating permit and to change the technology proposed.

Dr Murrison wrote: “It would be unfortunate if the UK’s COP26 chairmanship was sullied by the approval of any more old-style incinerators.

"That would bring over-capacity that would be serviced by the diversion of a waste stream that would otherwise be dealt with in less environmentally damaging ways.”

Dr Murrison sought clarity on four technical policy-related points relating to the incinerator's proposed operations and their potential impact on the environment and residents.

Firstly, "NREL’s failure to consider the relative net greenhouse gas impact associated with the release of biogenic CO2 between incineration and landfill.”

Secondly, "NREL’s application using “Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGT) instead of the long-term marginal energy factor.”

Third, he sought DEFRA’s “agreement or otherwise to the proposition that MBT-landfill (or MRBT-landfill) is a reasonable alternative treatment route that should be considered as a counterfactual for new EfW plants in their greenhouse gas impact assessments.”

Lastly, “an update on DEFRA's position regarding realistic alternatives to EfW in this COP26 year, mindful of technological developments and commitments to Net Zero and the fact that so much has changed since DEFRA's EfW Guide was last updated in February 2014.”

Dr Murrison concluded:

“Clarification of Defra’s positions on the above four points will assist planning decisions that are logical, transparent and cognisant of current alternative technologies and environmental commitments.”

Residents have until February 21 to comment on NREL's application.