Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Public Inquiry - Day 6

I attended part of the fifth day at the Public Inquiry on Tuesday, which dealt with ecological issues. Other priorities on that day included a meeting with Council officers to work on the draft of the consultation Development Plan Document on affordable housing.

Day 6 was frustrating. Debate focussed on the impact on landscape. Put simply, the Council’s witness argued that the negative impact of the incinerator was unacceptable and outweighed any perceived benefit from the proposal.

In his cross-examination, the Appellant’s barrister managed to upset many of the local people who were present. He argued that the China Clay had a ‘low sensitivity’ to change, because of the china clay extraction that had been carried out in the area.

In other words, in his view, it is acceptable for an incinerator to be built at poor old despoiled St Dennis but not, God forbid, in Feock or Mullion or on the Roseland or near other ‘pretty’ places elsewhere in Cornwall.

While we are focussing our efforts on the strategic arguments about the incinerator, I find it amazing how it is the little things that become the most irritating. I talk, of course, of the inability of many of the participants at the Inquiry to pronounce local place-names. Rostowrack, Wheal Remfry, Gaverigan, Nanpean and even Treviscoe have been mangled beyond recognition.

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