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Gordon visits Kemsley Mill

Local Conservative Parliamentary candidate, Gordon Henderson, last week visited Kemsley Mill to learn more about plans to build a second waste to energy power plant at the site in Sittingbourne.

Site owner, St Regis Paper, is considering building a new power generating plant, fuelled by pre-treated waste, to supply energy to the existing paper mill and to expand the amount of sustainable energy currently produced on the site.

Mr Henderson’s visit was part of a fact finding mission looking at the impact that waste to energy plants have on the environment and public health. He has also visited the waste recycling plant in Allington, which houses a similar waste to energy facility, and has had a meeting with the Environment Agency to discuss how emissions at the sites are monitored.

Kemsley Mill is already home to a gas fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and a smaller waste to energy plant, both of which are closely monitored and have a good record in terms of their emissions.

Mr Henderson explained:
“I have had concerns about the affect that waste to energy plants have on our local environment and when I heard about the proposed new plant in Kemsley my ears pricked up. However, rather than object to the proposed plant in a knee-jerk reaction I decided to find out more about the way these sites operate.

“Visiting the Kemsley Mill site not only gave me a better insight into their intentions, but it also provided me with the opportunity to convey to the management the concerns of local people about the potential impact on their lives.

“The two main concerns relate to the level and type of emissions released by any future energy plant, and the impact on local roads arising from the any increased traffic flow needed to supply the plant with waste.

“Although I still have concerns about the type of waste the plant would burn, on the assumption that such waste was no more hazardous than the material used to fuel the Allington plant, I am satisfied that pollution from emissions would be less harmful than that generated by traffic on the A249. Certainly a modern waste to energy generator would have less of an impact on our local environment than the old coal fired power station that stood on the site of the new plant.

“I have far more concerns about the impact that increased road traffic would have on local communities, particularly Kemsley and Iwade. It is predicted that to supply the waste needed to provide fuel for the new power plant would need around 60 extra lorry movements a day and I very much hope that St Regis can find an alternative method of transporting the waste to Kemsley Mill, if and when they submit a planning application.”


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