Buttington Quarry - ERF

Received 23 May 2021
From Buttington Trewern CP School

Representation

Buttington Trewern County Primary School
Cefn Road
Trewern
Welshpool
Powys
SY21 8TB
23rd May 2021


Dear Sir / Madam,

Re: Buttington Quarry – ERF, DNS/3214813
The Governing Body of Buttington Trewern County Primary School has collectively considered how the proposed siting of the Broad Energy Incinerator at Buttington Quarry would affect our school and its community. We would respectfully ask that you give full consideration to our unanimous opposition to the proposal as outlined below:

The long-term health of our pupils, staff and the residents of our local community

Our school, which sits at the heart of this beautiful rural setting is situated in very close proximity to the proposed development site (approx. 350 metres) and as such, we have major concerns in relation to the impact on the quality of the air that our pupils, staff and local residents will breathe. Broad Energy have been keen to point out that their plan will not result a significant impact on human health, but clearly, this statement does not rule out the possibility of any impact on human health, only that the consequences may not be significant. Broad Energy’s assertions are based on a modelling process only and therefore may not necessarily be accurate in practice. Furthermore, it is impossible for anyone to be certain of the health impacts that could result in decades to come. We do not want to leave the risk to our future generations open to question.
It is important to note that we regularly experience low lying fog which sits in the valley where the school is and the idea of this fog/low cloud being polluted from the incinerator, and hanging over the school is a major concern for the school governors.
In addition to the potential impact on physical health, we also have concerns over how the proposed development could negatively impact the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils, staff and local residents. Particularly when there is regular low lying fog, we are concerned this will cause anxiety for our staff, pupils and parents as they will be concerned that particulates and noxious gases will be trapped in the inversion and will have a perception that their health could be negatively impacted as a result of the incinerator emissions.
Many of our pupils and their families currently enjoy the benefits of outdoor recreation and exercise close to the proposed development site with walking, running and cycling being particularly popular. Within the parameter of the school we have an outdoor gym, a community playground and a sports field (used by the local football team). We are also in the process of developing an outdoor sensory garden against which we have secured grant funding in recognising the local need for this. To allow the proposed incinerator development to proceed at the Buttington Quarry site would undoubtedly lead to reduced take up of outdoor activities within our community spaces with a resultant knock-on effect to physical and mental health
We ask that you consider our right to peace of mind in enjoying our school, the surrounding countryside and most importantly the air that we breathe. This right will be severely restricted if parents, pupils and residents are concerned about the local air quality.

Highway safety issues

The entrance to our school is situated on the A458 which is the main route out of Powys to Shrewsbury in an easterly direction. It is also one of the main routes into Mid Wales for tourists especially from the West Midlands. This is a busy main road which receives a high volume of traffic throughout the day and in particular during the morning around the time that our pupils are being dropped off at school by their parents. We have noted the difficulties that arise when, after dropping off their children, parents attempt to re-join the carriageway as long streams of traffic approach from either direction. To add a considerable number of more HGV’s per hour would in our opinion add a burden of additional traffic that would exacerbate the problem with resulting consequences for road safety.
We also bring to your attention Cefn Bridge which is situated just a short distance from the entrance to our school and being known locally as an accident blackspot. The narrow width of the carriageway here has resulted in numerous accidents over recent years and in particular when a vehicle has to pass an HGV on the bridge itself. Please refer to The County Times article dated 18th December 2018, linked here:
https://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/17307767.pictures-show-lorry-hanging-edge-cefn-bridge-a458-crash-near-trewern-welshpool/

Long-term success of our school

Our exceptional team of staff at the school have worked tirelessly over many years to achieve an excellent reputation and standing throughout the local area that we see today. However, as you will no doubt be aware, the funding for our school is largely based upon the pupil numbers attending. Numerous parents have expressed their concerns to us about the proposal and from this feedback, we anticipate difficulties in recruiting new pupils to the school as well as declining numbers as some parents make the decision to move away. We ask that you allow us to maintain the position that we have today as one of the leading and preferred primary schools in Powys. The landscape impact, health concerns, increase in volume and pollution from traffic, we believe, will have detrimental impact on the future viability of what is currently a thriving rural school.

Environmental Ethos of the School

At our school, we take pride in encouraging and teaching the pupils about environmental issues such as the importance of recycling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have an active, platinum awarded eco-committee and the pupils lead the way with their environmental campaigns they choose to run. It would be contrary to the school’s environmental ethos if we were to have this proposed incineration facility on our doorstep, which evidence has shown can discourage recycling and emit considerable levels of CO2 into the atmosphere.

On a final note, we would encourage you to visit the area to see for yourself the idyllic setting that the school has in what is very much a traditional and very rural village setting. We strongly believe that to allow an industrial facility of this type to go ahead in this type of setting would be extremely damaging and would benefit the few to the detriment of many.

Yours sincerely,
Fiona Warburton

Mrs Fiona Warburton
Chair
On behalf of the Governing Body
Buttington Trewern CP School