Category Archives: News

BBC Presenter devastated at the approval of Beddington Incinerator.

BBC ‘The One Show’ broadcaster and presenter, David Lindo, also known as The Urban Birder, today said when he heard an incinerator was sanctioned at Beddington Farmlands he found the news simply “devastating.”

He said, “My heart sank when I heard that the council, GLA and the Secretary of State have sanctioned the construction of the incinerator at Beddington Farmlands. This news is simply devastating”

Beddington Farmlands is home to more than 100 of species of birds, and one of the largest populations of the rare tree sparrow in the UK. Tree sparrows have seen a dramatic drop in their numbers nationally over the past 40 years, and Beddington boasted one of the few places in the UK to have retained breeding pairs in any significant numbers.

Mr Lindo added, “I used to regularly watch birds at this amazing site since the early 80’s. To this day, it still remains a giant in the London birding scene and an important area for wildlife in general. Unfortunately, its fantastic potential as a major site for Londoners and for youngsters especially to learn about the beauty of nature has already been blighted. Beddington Farmand’s nationally renowned Tree Sparrow colony – a rare species in the UK – is already in steep decline. We cannot standby and let this wonderful area be destroyed. Everybody needs to get behind the Stop The Incinerator Campaign. I am.”

Viridor, who want to build a 300,000 tonne per annum waste incinerator at Beddington, claim to care about the environment, but their actions speak louder than words. Earlier this year, before the breeding season began, they cut down a sizeable area of trees used by the birds for roosting at the site.

Paul Pickering, chair of the local Stop The Incinerator campaign explained: “Viridor hoped for early approval of their planning application to Sutton council and wanted to ensure there were no obstacles that could delay site development.  This cynical act has left the once thriving colony of tree sparrow all but extinct on the site”.

This act of environmental vandalism has had a dramatic impact on tree sparrow numbers.

Peter Alfrey, member of the Beddington Farmlands Bird Group, commented: “Of the eleven special bird species that breed on site that were protected under Viridor’s previous planning permissions, all eleven have either declined or become extinct. Most alarmingly the Tree Sparrow- an iconic species for the site (the largest population in the South East) has reduced from nearly 1000 in 2007 to only 15 today”.

Local concerns about the impact of the incinerator on health and the environment, and the loss of rare species are not going to stand in the way of Viridor’s plans for their money making incinerator. The plans to burn domestic, commercial and industrial waste from four London boroughs and beyond for the next 25 years are a disaster for the environment and human health, but very profitable for Viridor. The alternative strategies of waste reduction, re-use, recycling and composting have not been adopted by Viridor. We are left with a waste strategy designed to maximise profits for Viridor’s shareholders, rather than serve the interests of the people of Sutton and Croydon, our wildlife and the environment.

The Stop The Incinerator Campaign are raising money to challenge the decision to build the giant incinerator through judicial review.


What’s the price of good health and clean air?

Hearing this week that Boris Johnson thinks greed is good, it’s hardly surprising he likes the South London Incinerator.

Those complicit in this environmental disaster have put profit before people and have ignored the intrinsic economic benefits of a happy and healthy society.

Viridor, the company building the incinerator, have managed to ‘persuade’ local councillors with a mitigation package worth £2.3 million.

This works out at about £2.50 per person in the four boroughs involved in this plan (Croydon, Merton, Sutton and Kingston).

Viridor claim that £2.50 per person is “fair and adequate” mitigation for the impact of burning rubbish for the next 25 years.

You can listen to it here:

Some of this money will go towards setting up a community forum to help the local community decide how best to improve the local area.  We believe the best way to improve the local area is not to build a mass burn waste incinerator in the corner of our country park!

A small amount has been put aside to replace the air quality monitoring station that was very conveniently removed from Beddington Lane, the road on which the incinerator is being built.

However, the amount Viridor have offered doesn’t cover the cost of the new equipment.

Four out of the five councillors who voted for the incinerator did so because they were more concerned about losing the mitigation offered by Viridor than they were about anything else.

What price would you put on your health?  £2.50 is what the council sold it for.

Listen to what they had to say:


Money Talks Children Die

Last night (06/11/13) we took our protest back to Sutton’s Development Control Committee who voted for the South London Incinerator on Beddington Lane.  Their decision was ill informed and based on fears over losing the mitigation package Viridor had offered them.

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing audio footage from the night the decision was made and you can judge for yourself how little they knew of what they were talking about.

Sutton Council have put the needs of big business above the health of the people.


Cycle safety

With cycling accidents increasing for the 8th consecutive year and cycle deaths up 10% in 2012, it is important that every opportunity to increase road safety it taken.

Viridor will have a contract to burn rubbish for 25 years resulting in 666 lorries a day (770 during construction) going to and from the incinerator.

Viridor have refused to fit their lorries with the latest safety equipment proven to save lives and they have refused to give their drivers the latest training on cycle safety.

The leader of Croydon Council, Mike Fisher, signed up to the Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge and said he would “incorporate these standards in new contracts.”

But when he agreed to Viridor’s incinerator he ignored this pledge and allowed them to go ahead without it.

When I approached Viridor directly they confirmed they would not follow the Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling guidelines.

Viridor have no contractual requirement for their lorries to follow a specific route.  This means they can use residential roads as a cut through.

It’s not just people like me who commute to work on a bike that will be affected by all these lorries, children playing and cycling on quiet residential streets will encounter these lorries too.