East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has advertised the Newhaven incinerator application as a departure from local development plans because of its adverse visual impact on the adjacent area of outstanding natural beauty and the loss of areas for the storage and processing of crushed rock and marine aggregates at North Quay.

ESCC is correct in identifying this project as a future blot on the landscape.

But while any recognition of the project's flaws are welcome I could have supplied many more reasons to ditch these deeply unpopular plans.

For instance, residents are rightly concerned over reports that incinerators have been shown to pollute surrounding areas with cocktails of toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, immune system defects, increased allergies and birth defects.

As well as the pollution and health impact, the construction and operation of an incinerator will have a massive environmental impact on the local community and will tie Brighton and Hove and East Sussex councils into a long-term contract to burn waste - rather than improve recycling rates.

I am fundamentally opposed to the principal of burning - rather than recycling, reusing and reducing - our waste. There is no need to incinerate mixed waste at all if we improve recycling rates and cut waste by adopting the principles of a "zero-waste strategy", such as that employed successfully in Canada and parts of Australia.

Dr Caroline Lucas,
MEP South East England,
Green Party