Sharon welcomes withdrawal of the planning application for an incineration plant at Hillthorn Park & announcement of new £60m regeneration scheme.
Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington & Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Veterans has today welcomed the withdrawal by Rolton Kilbride, of the application for an incineration plant at Hillthorn Park and the announcement of new £60m regeneration scheme.
Welcomed by local businesses and educational leaders, this development is expected to create 1,600 new jobs and nine new commercial buildings that will be built by 2024.
“The announcement that the planning application for an incineration plant at Hillthorn Park has been withdrawn is to be welcomed.
“This announcement follows years of campaigning and effort by the local community and campaign groups who delivered leaflets, gathered thousands of signatures and attended public meetings to ask pressing questions to figures of authority.
“I have been proud to campaign alongside, and represent in Parliament, passionate and knowledgeable groups like UKWIN, No Monster Incinerator in Washington and Washington and Wearside Against Gasification Group.
‘’I am pleased that in place of the incineration plant, a new regeneration scheme will be delivered, in which Legal & General have agreed a deal with Sunderland City Council to invest £60m. At a time when our region is suffering due to the economic shock from the Coronavirus pandemic, this investment is fantastic news.
‘’Welcomed by local businesses and educational leaders, this development is expected to create 1,600 new jobs and nine new commercial buildings that will be built by 2024. As with all major developments, I will monitor progress closely – and be sure to represent any concerns constituents may have as we move forward.’’
Due to Coronavirus, the dates regarding the appeal inquiry for a gasification plant to be built in Hillthorn Park have changed. The inquiry had been adjourned until June, but this has been extended.
Please see the dates below:
14 August 2020 - Deadline for completion of negotiations and confirmation to PINs of withdrawal or continuation of the appeal.
28 August 2020 - If required: Deadline for submission of:
Any updated evidence, although this must be exceptional;
Intended application for costs.
15 September 2020 - If required: Inquiry resumes.
15/18, 22-25 September 2020 - If required: Inquiry dates, to include an evening session.
Whilst MPs cannot get involved in the planning process, due to the great concern my constituents have raised about this gasification plant, I have represented the views of my constituents at every opportunity and I oppose this planning application.
You can see more of Sharon Hodgson work on Rolton Kilbride here >>
Sharon has received a response from Luke Hall MP, Minister for Local Government and Homelessness at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government following her request for the planning application for a gasification plant in Hillthorn Park to be recovered by the Secretary of State. This request has been rejected by the Minister.
You can read the letter by clicking on the image above
The planning appeal process for the gasification plant is currently adjourned until June.
Sharon continues to oppose the planning application.
On Wednesday 26th February, Sharon received a response from the Government to the petition she presented on 21st January about the gasification plant at Hillthorn Park.
You can read Sharon's speech and petition here >
You can read the Government response below:
Observations from Minister for Housing (Christopher Pincher):
The application referred to is now the subject of a planning appeal to the Secretary of State. The appeal inquiry opened on 18th February 2020 and it was attended by approximately 250 people. Before any evidence was heard, the main parties submitted an application to the Inspector to adjourn the inquiry to allow time for confidential commercial negotiations to take place the outcome of which was expected to be the withdrawal of the appeal. The request was endorsed by all objectors and by the MP who was present. The Inspector found the application represented exceptional circumstances and agreed to the request. The inquiry will resume on 18th June 2020 if the negotiations falter and the appeal is not withdrawn before then.
The Planning Inspectorate has received a request from Sharon Hodgson MP that the appeal be recovered by the Secretary of State on the grounds that it conflicts with national policies on important matters and raises significant questions regarding the interpretation of those policies for RDF-based gasification plants. The Secretary of State will consider and respond to this request as soon as possible.
Whilst the Government recognises the opposition to the planning application/appeal, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the eventual decision as to do so could prejudice the Inspector’s, or Secretary of State’s (if the appeal were to be recovered), consideration of the appeal prior to having heard and then considered all the evidence, both for and against the proposal.
You can read Sharon's work on this issue here >
The Planning Inspector ruled today (18th February 2020) at the Stadium of Light, that the appeal inquiry for a gasification plant to be built in Hillthorn Park has been adjourned until June.
Sharon Hodgson MP, who opposes the building of a gasification plant, said at the appeal inquiry:
"This is great news for my constituents who do not want this gasification plant built.
"Over the last three years, constituents have contacted me over concerns about public health, climate change, road congestion and the impact on the local landscape.
"That is why I was pleased to support the calls for an adjournment as this could lead to our ultimate goal: no gasification plant being built at Hillthorn Park. However, any deal that is made must be transparent and put in the public domain for scrutiny.
"This would not have happened today without the community spirit and determination from residents, campaigners and Councillors. The little people have stood up to the big guys and won. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the campaign to oppose the building of a gasification plant in Washington."
You can read Sharon's work on this issue here > Sharon Hodgson MP - Rolton Kilbride, Washington planning appeal
The appeal for a planning application for a gasification plant to be built at Hillthorn Park, Washington begins on Tuesday 18th February at 10am at the Stadium of Light, Montgomery Suite. It will continue for 8 days, with an evening meeting on Monday 24th February.
Sharon opposes the planning application and will be speaking at the appeal meeting on Tuesday 18th February to set out the concerns of her constituents.
We need to show the Planning Inspector that the people of Washington and Sunderland West do not want this gasification plant.
Crowds will therefore be gathering from 9:30am on Tuesday 18th February at the main car park (Red Car Park) at the Stadium of Light to rally against the planning application.
If you are able to come and show your opposition, please do so. The more people the better.
You can read Sharon’s work on this issue here.
You can read Sharon's latest Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo website
A planning application for a waste gasification plant to be built at Hillthorn Park in Washington has been ongoing for almost three years.
Local residents, campaigners, Cross-Party Councillors and I oppose the building of this plant and have been relentless in our campaigning against the planning application.
Last July, the application was rejected by local Councillors on the Planning and Highways Committee. But our journey did not stop there.
The applicants, Rolton Kilbride, have appealed that decision which will now be heard by the Planning Inspectorate in an 8-day inquiry starting next week, on Tuesday 18th February at the Stadium of Light.
Campaigners and I will be at the appeal hearing, to show our intense opposition to the planning application.
Last week, I held a public meeting in Washington to speak to residents about the application and listen to their concerns.
Over 100 people attended and shared their worries with me including public health issues, climate change challenges, the impact on our local landscape and house prices.
I have raised these issues several times in Parliament, most recently this week in a Westminster Hall debate and directly to the Prime Minister during Prime Minister’s Question Time.
In my 15 years as an MP, no issue has galvanised so many people in opposition to an issue like this; approximately 10,800 people have signed petitions opposing the gasification plant and I have been contacted by hundreds of constituents about it.
What this campaign has shown me is that there is power in our people working together.
I do not know what the Planning Inspector will decide following the appeal hearing; they are not elected or political and as an MP I do not have any further influence over them than anyone else.
But what I do know is that when we all come together united in one mission, we can succeed in building a people-powered campaign that demonstrates the community spirit and determination of our local area.
We are united in opposing this proposed gasification plant and I will continue to do all that I can to represent my constituents on this issue.
I will be holding a public meeting throughout my constituency each month covering various issues. For more information, please visit my website: http://www.sharonhodgson.org/tags/public_meeting or contact my office: [email protected]