Tower Hamlets Mayor is criticised over waste facility plans

The leader of the Labour opposition at Tower Hamlets council has accused the borough’s Mayor of “burying” a proposal for a major waste plant within wider community plans.

Joshua Peck has hit out at Lutfur Rahman for not consulting properly on the plans for a 3.5 hectare waste facility, on Fish Island, perched between his Bow ward and the 2012 Olympic Park.

Area plans for Fish Island state than the borough needs a new waste management facility to process 150,000 tonnes of yearly waste and suggest putting in on a piece of land just east of the A12, between Wick Lane and Bow Road. The details are included in a document of wider plans for at least 2,000 homes, a school, business and retail space, and other community facilities on the island.

Housing would be concentrated mainly on the islands’ north side while the historically industrial south would house the waste facility, with the possibility of linking it to the Olympic Energy Centre.

Cllr Peck said: “There is a proper public debate to be had about how we deal with the waste we produce, whether we should deal with it here rather than shipping it off to be buried in the countryside, whether burning it to produce energy is a more sustainable option and how safe incineration is for residents living nearby.

“However, I don’t think it is acceptable that the Mayor is trying to avoid that debate by burying this proposal and hoping that it will slip by without anyone noticing. A lack of public input at this stage could make it harder for residents to make their views known at later stages.”

Mayor Rahman is yet to respond to the criticism.

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The consultation process for the area plans, including the waste facility, end on July 15.