On Tuesday 21 January 2020, Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West, presented a petition to Parliament signed by constituents who oppose the building of a gasification plant in Hillthorn Park, Washington.
Approximately 10,800 people have signed petitions opposing the building of the gasification plant since 2017, with people raising concerns about health and safety, the environment, congestion on roads and the affect on nearby house prices.
The gasification technology that will be used by the plant has not yet been decided by the applicant, causing concern about safety.
The planning application was rejected in July by the Planning and Highways Committee, but has been appealed by the applicant. The appeal will begin on Tuesday 18th February.
Sharon, who also opposes the building of a gasification plant said:
“The planning application for the gasification plant is deeply controversial and has led to many of my constituents writing to me to express their concerns.
“That so many people have signed petitions over the last three years proves just how strongly the people of Washington and Sunderland West oppose the building of this plant.
“I share their concerns and I am also opposed to the building of this plant. That is why I am pleased to present this petition to Parliament today. I will continue to take actions to oppose the building of this plant.”
The petition reads:
“The Petition of residents of Washington and Sunderland West Constituency,
Declares that the petitioners oppose the building of a Gasification Plant in Hillthorn Park, Washington.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to recognise the opposition to the planning application; and calls on the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to reject the planning application 17/02085/MW4.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.”
You can watch Sharon's speech on Facebook here or on Twitter here