News from Wiltshire Councillor Jerry Wickham

As I drive around the villages I cover, inevitably I look at the landscape we all have the benefit of seeing. However, in light of a number of recent developments, this landscape is likely to change in the near future. We have all got used to seeing the chimney at the old cement works, but Wiltshire Council has received notification of Lafarge’s intention to dismantle this plant, which includes the removal of the stack. Many have become accustomed to the sight of the 400 feet (122m) of concrete chimney and I know that it has splits opinion on its merits on the Wiltshire landscape. What is clear though, its demolition will be a spectacle.


On the same theme, as one facility goes another recently gained planning consent which is for an Advanced Thermal Treatment plant at Northacre Industrial estate at Westbury by Hills Waste. This new plant will convert waste into electricity, through a process of gasification, which is not incineration, and generate around 22 Megawatts of electricity and heat. In order to deal with any emissions, the plant will have a modern 60m chimney and on this point, there has been comparison between the former Lafarge site and this new facility. It is right to say from the outset that to compare the two is like ‘chalk and cheese’. The new facility will be designed to prevent harmful emissions and I know that the Environment Agency, who have to licence it, have automatic feeds of all data relating to the plant. Equally, operations are terminated if there is any indication of any issue of harmful substances potentially being expelled. Therefore to remember the plumes from the old cement works chimney and believe that this new plant will be the same, is factually incorrect. This is likely to be a modern state of the art facility that deals with waste and generates energy.


Lastly, we all know about the dreadful state of the B3098. I have recently received notification that the plans to repair sections will still take place in Jan/Feb 2016 despite recent changes in contracts with Wiltshire Council. I will continue to ensure that this timeframe is met.