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The MP for Hartlebury, Peter Luff, today expressed his disappointment that the Inspector appointed to inquire into the planing permission for the Hartlebury Incinerator has recommended the county council's approval stands, and that the Secretary of State has accepted his recommendation.

Commenting, Peter said,

"This is a sad day for the people of the area. There are some modest but apparently useful conditions attached to the approval, but fundamentally the community has lost its brave fight.

"The full report and the Secretary of State's letter run to a hundred and fifty pages and I'm sure they will be carefully scrutinised by the campaign group, WAIL. However, the truth is that there is little likelihood of finding any legal reason to contest the decision. I would be happy to be proved wrong, but I think this stage of the fight is over.

"The only remaining obstacle I can identify is the affordability of this huge project, but that's a question for the council.

"I am glad the community had a proper opportunity to put its case. Some of their arguments obviously carried great weight with the inspector, especially those relating to the Green Belt. But at the end of the day there was to be no happy ending to their David and Goliath story.

"I congratulate everyone involved on a vigorous, intelligent and thoughtful campaign. I was proud to be associated with it, even if defeat does leave a bitter taste. I remain convinced there were better ways of dealing with the waste but, sadly, it looks unlikely that we will now be able to pursue them."


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