So, they passed it. We are going to have a refuse treatment plant at Courtauld Road in Pitsea that will treat the rubbish of the whole of the South of the county, thanks to Essex County Council passing the planning application. This was opposed by Basildon District Council, all parties in a rare moment of unanimity, local pressure groups and the local population. In fact, I never met a single person in favour of the scheme who lived anywhere near the site. The real problem with one rubbish disposal site for such a huge area is getting the rubbish to the site in the first place. You have to remember that this development has been so long in gestation that the world has changed radically since it was devised. Today, the idea of 400 vehicle movements per day in order to ship rubbish to Basildon from as far away as Epping Forest seems absurdly unsustainable. Not that stopped Essex County Council’s planning committee.
Still, there is one ray of hope. The scheme depends on government funding in the tens of millions or else it goes nowhere. Right now the government hasn’t got a bean, and anyway they may not be the government for very much longer. There may be a few icebergs before a Titanic of rubbish sails into Pitsea.