Environmental issues are some of the most contested in the court and from person to person. As they are increasingly at the fore of government legislation, it can be a difficult line to tread for those looking for election.
One of these issues which is nearly always contested is that of hazardous waste disposal. Whilst many people don’t even want to know about it, never mind discuss it; it can be difficult to find reasonable solutions.
A scheme which planned on dumping thousands of tonnes of waste a year has been stopped recently at a quarry in Chew Valley near Bristol. Hazardous material such as asbestos and other waste material was meant to be disposed there, but the plan has been unanimously rejected by local councillors.
The planned site is in close proximity to water supplies and it was feared that contaminants could leech into the water supply through the ground to a reservoir just 2 kilometres away from the site.
The decision has undoubtedly been influenced by local opposition to the scheme which has seen a 4,000 strong petition against it.
Conservative councillor Vic Pritchard, who represents Chew Valley South, said it was great news but acknowledged the decision “might not be the end of the matter”.
“If the applicant decides to appeal (against) this decision… we’ll continue to oppose the plans and take our arguments to the planning inspector,” he added.
Previously, Bristol Water said it had considered the use of Stowey Quarry as a disposal site, but deemed in inappropriate. They also added that its use as a disposal site represented a “risk to the long-term quality of the water resource at Chew Valley Lake”.