28 April 2018
Green Jean Lambert - Jean and Green Party members, candidates and supporters assembling at Beddington Park
Wandle Valley candidates and Jean Lambert.jpeg - Helen Heathfield, Peter Alfrey and Gina Mudge with Jean Lambert
We did not have to walk far to see the destruction caused by the SDEN
Jean Lambert hears about eco-vandalism in Hackbridge - at SDEN pipeline site.
Wandle bank destruction by Redrow
Protest of destruction by Redrow -
Protest at Redrow Wandle bank destruction at Millfields - so luxury flats could have a view of the River Wandle
Visiting Green MEP appalled by wildlife habitat destruction
Green Party MEP for London, Jean Lambert (1) was deeply concerned by wildlife habitats destroyed by developers around Hackbridge (2). Her visit coincided with Earth-Day (3) where environmentalists around the world were calling for better protection of nature and the planet.
On Sunday twenty campaigners, litter picking as they went, joined Jean in a walkabout tour of devastated sites, highlighting how easily valuable habitat can be lost, to the detriment of declining bird species and other wildlife.
Firstly visited Beddington Farmlands, the site of the long-promised but ever-distant regional park:
Peter Alfrey (4), Green Party Wandle Valley candidate and ornithologist, who has pledged to donate his £10,000 councillor wage to green space improvements if elected, showed Jean how earthworks for an industrial-scale hot water pipe from the incinerator to the Felnex housing estate in Hackbridge had ripped up hundreds of metres of wildlife habitats including over 160 trees. The damage was inflicted most insensitively during the bird-nesting season and before planning permission had been granted or even a final route for the pipes had been agreed, causing destruction along two different routes for the pipe, as the finalised single route had not been decided (5). The bulldozed area had been restored ten years ago and was reaching maturity as a wildlife zone. Well known ornithologist Peter pointed out that many bird species had virtually disappeared from the Farmlands (6) while Viridor had dragged their feet on agreed wildlife improvements.
Jean said that a cascade of bad decisions had led to the destruction.
Jim explained toxic decisions made by the Sutton Liberal Democrat council. This included permission for the Felnex estate on false claims of environmental sustainability, permitting a polluting incinerator and enlarging its capacity to about 300,000 tonnes per annum for waste from 4 boroughs and industrial and other waste to try and fill the burner transported from further afield, with permission to burn radioactive waste (7), and finally agreeing to a heat-system required by Mayor Boris to justify the incinerator (8). She felt local nature had suffered badly as will tenants in the estate who will be forced to pay excessive costs for their heating.
SDEN incinerator pipe line destruction to continue along the River Wandle
Campaigners also pointed out that the incinerator pipe will make a circuit around the Felnex estate including a run along a beautiful stretch of the River Wandle, blighting Wilderness Island nature reserve.
Jean felt that waste incinerators are not part of a green, circular economy where materials are valued as a resource to be recycled and maintained rather than burnt after a single use (9).
Redrow destroy wildlife habitats so their luxury flats have a view of the River Wandle, even though permission was refused.
Then the group moved to the River Wandle by the Redrow housing development at Goat Road. Campaigners Tomos Brangwyn and Jim Duffy showed how Redrow had destroyed a two hundred metre stretch of richly wooded river-bank. The area was extensively used by kingfishers which Tomos films as a professional, while trout, barbel and chubb had benefitted from the tree-shade over the river. Redrow's first planning application had been opposed by Sutton Council officers, the Environment Agency and the Wandle Trust (10). They submitted a second application but felled the trees while it was being processed. The application is now going to appeal but Redrow has so far taken little advice of Sutton's Biodiversity and Trees Officers, seemingly keen to offer clear river views to their prospective luxury-home buyers. More riverside trees are earmarked to be felled at the Restmoor housing development by Hackbridge Bridge. Jean Lambert was shocked at the blatant devastation caused by the developers and suggested other riverside habitat areas in London, which had been better protected by councils (11).
Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP, who has formally objected to the construction of the Beddington incinerator in the past says: “It’s a disgrace that the Lib Dem-dominated council has stood by and allowed profiteering companies to destroy large parts of this area’s rich ecosystem. It's clear they have no regard for the local environment or for our health. If elected, Green councillors will campaign tirelessly for improved protections that will safeguard the Wandle Valley and the well - being of those who live in and around it. We must act now to ensure that this area's beautiful, diverse natural habitats can continue to be enjoyed by local people and future generations."
(7) Radioactive and hazardous waste page 16 and 35 - https://www.croydon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/articles/downloads/adoptedslwp.pdf
Liquid hazardous waste to go to local sewage plants: http://docplayer.net/16460085-South-london-waste-plan-submission-statement-of-common-ground-1.html
Public urged to petition MPs against building more incinerators
Just as incinerator companies such as Viridor and Pennon have lobbied Parliament, members of the public can write to their MP and urge them to support Early Day Motion (EDM) 581 MORATORIUM ON NEW WASTE INCINERATION CAPACITY, which seeks to ban any new incinerators due to their overcapacity. The Viridor waste incinerator is so large that there is not enough waste to fill it to capacity from the four local boroughs, meaning it will need to be fed rubbish transported from further afield to keep it running. Find a template of a suggested letter to MPs here: