Veolia has plans for an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) on Imperial Road Heysham. This would burn waste from across Lancashire to power a steam-driven turbine, thereby producing electricity.
Veolia is inviting comments on the proposals, so – from the perspective of sustainable transport – Dynamo has sent the following:
COMMENTS ON PROPOSED ENERGY RECOVERY FACILITY ON IMPERIAL ROAD, HEYSHAM
Dynamo (Lancaster & District Cycle Campaign) has noted your proposals to build an ERF on Imperial Road, Heysham, and welcomes the opportunity to engage with the plans at an early stage. We are supportive of your intentions to create a more sustainable approach to dealing with waste, and the regeneration that this will bring to the area, and wish to offer remedies to the less sustainable impacts of your plans.
Our concerns are:
1. that the facility will increase traffic along the bypass road and Imperial Road and have a negative impact on cyclists – by both increasing road dangers for existing cyclists and discouraging future cyclists. As you will know, the only direct route between Lancaster and that part of Heysham at present is via the bypass and Ovangle Road;
2. that the opportunities to promote walking, cycling and public transport are not yet identified and we wish that they be considered and included in your proposals.
Your website mentions 200 HGV movements per working day, as well as travel movements by the facility’s workers (who will be working a shift system). In addition to your own plans, the City Council’s planning committee has recently approved an application for another industrial unit on Imperial Road (ref 18/00154) and, prior to that, a meat-processing facility at Hillside Farm. All this is going to make the bypass road even more dangerous and unattractive to cyclists – and at the same time currently doing nothing to promote sustainable transport alternatives.
Section 9 of the National Planning Policy Framework (June 2018) states that “Transport Issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making and development proposals” and that “Planning policies should . . . provide for high quality walking and cycling networks”.
So, our request to you when drawing up your plans is to look at the sustainability opportunities in connection with your intended facility in Heysham more widely and imaginatively: how can you fulfil your duties to ensure sustainability in local transport, reducing the impact on existing cyclists AND make space for potential cyclists, including your own future employees?
Dynamo has long had a proposal for an off-road shared-use path between Salt Ayre leisure centre (see https://lancasterdynamo.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/new-heysham-leaflet_v4-a5.pdf) and Heysham Moss. Whilst the full link from Salt Ayre to Heysham Mossgate might be beyond the reach of your ERF proposal, we would suggest that the off road section between Snatchems and the bypass road, along with a proper, segregated route beside the bypass, very much fits within the scope of your plans. Putting this in place would create a shorter and safer route for cyclists from Lancaster to your site than using Ovangle Road and avoids the need to pass a section of Lancaster Road which frequently floods.
We are not proposing that Veolia funds this entirely, although we would note that the cost of these shared use paths proposals are modest. (Sadly the City Council has missed previous opportunities to integrate sustainability in this part of the district.) But we do ask if you will consider the cycling and walking implications raised and how you will benefit from contributing to them. You might discuss further with County Council officers who are working on a local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan to meet the challenges of a low-carbon, more sustainable future, and we would also be happy to provide further details and indicative costings of the paths described.