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Burner 'noise and smell' protest.

Byline: Matthew Pardo

Noise and smell risks have forced health chiefs to speak out in a row over animal burner plans - a month AFTER a licence was granted by a Teesside council.

Langbaurgh Primary Care Trust (PCT) says the risk to the health of residents living nearby meant it could not support Edward Noddings' bid to incinerate animal carcasses in East Cleveland.

It is the first time a Teesside PCT has spoken out in the controversial incinerator issue.

In July experts at Redcar and Cleveland Council asked Lanbaurgh PCT for its views on licensing the Charltons burner.

The trust 'indicated' to the council it would object on health grounds, but wanted to see more evidence before formally opposing it.

But the trust did not fully reply within the 28 days the council had to consider the application and so on September 24, Mr Noddings was granted an operating licence for the burner and he has been operating it ever since.

On September 25 public health expert Dr Ian Holtby delivered his report, based on an environmental health study, into the public health risks.

"Although the use of modern incineration plants will give benefit to the wider community, the proposal to site one in close proximity to a residential area may have adverse health outcomes on those living in the immediate locality," he wrote.

After hearing Dr Holtby's report, LPCT board members formally agreed last week not to support the application - four weeks after Redcar and Cleveland granted the licence.

Mark Gibbin, deputy chief executive of the LPCT, said: "An analysis of an environmental impact assessment confirmed the decision taken by the Trust in July not to support the application."

Today Bob Cowell, principal environmental protection officer at Redcar and Cleveland Council, said the council had to act within 28 days, if it had information from the health trust or not.

"We had several discussions with the PCT but the final formal response following their meeting was not received by us until well after the deadline," said Mr Cowell.

"We had to, by law, issue or not issue a permit based on the information in front of us at the time.

"That said, these permits are dynamic and can reflect information received. So we will look at what the LPCT has said as they are the experts in health."

Anti-incinerator campaigner John Tombs said: "I think the council thought the Primary Care Trust would just rubber stamp the proposal but they haven't."
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 29, 2003
Words:411
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