A: The Rookery South site, located within the Northern Marston Vale Growth area, was chosen after an extensive search in this region. Covanta originally looked at over 340 sites and Rookery Pit South was considered the most suitable. The site is an appropriate location to develop the Project because:
- It avoids those areas most protected by policy e.g. Greenbelt;
- It is accessible by a suitable road network, and offers the potential for rail transport in the future;
- It is capable of providing enough space to avoid local adverse environmental impacts;
- It is centrally located enabling the required waste management and energy supply capacity to be provided in a strategically advantageous position.
A: Covanta and Veolia recognise the importance of being part of the wider community. At Rookery South Pit, we propose to put in place a series of community benefits. From the beginning, several ways were identified to contribute to the local community. These included the development of a Community Trust Fund and a dedicated Forest of Marston Vale Trust Fund. The reconnection of rights of way within Rookery South Pit was also identified as a way in which to enhance the area. As part of the consultation process, Covanta was asked to work on a wide variety of community gain activities from the reduction of household bills to the improvement of village halls. Currently, Covanta and Veolia propose to:
- Introduce a discount scheme to reduce household energy bills;
- Provide a Community Trust Fund;
- Provide education and community facilities;
- Enhance footpaths;
- Enhance the Forest of Marston Vale through a separate Forest of Marston Vale Trust Fund.
A: Transport and access to the site and the impact of deliveries and people employed at the ERF is the subject of a full Transport Study, which has taken on comments by the Highway Authorities. Measures that Covanta is proposing to minimise and enhance traffic and access impacts include:
- Restrictions on delivery hours and a controlled and monitored HGV Route Management Plan;
- A new junction with a right turning lane on Green Lane to provide access to the Facility;
- Improvements to the footway/cycleway provision on Green Lane – potentially creating a second public access into The Forest Centre and Millennium Country Park;
- Exploring the provision of contributions to upgrade the Green Lane level crossing;
- Reconnection of severed footpaths and creation of new footpaths and cycleways.