Opposition councillors in Sutton are demanding an urgent meeting with the council chief executive after the authority’s planning committee last night granted permission for a pipe-laying scheme to a division of a company which is paying towards a council trip to the South of France next month.
Tim Crowley, the leader of the Conservative group on Sutton Council who attended last night’s planning meeting, says that he is very concerned about what he calls “a veil of secrecy” surrounding Sutton’s relationship with house-builders Barratt’s and the council’s district energy project, SDEN.
SDEN is the district energy network which Sutton has devised to market the hot water generated from the incinerator being built at Beddington Lane. Unless SDEN can secure several long-term customers for the heat generated from the incinerator, many of the (often specious) economic and environmental arguments which were put forward by Sutton and the South London Waste Partnership (of which Croydon is a member) would… go up in smoke.
Barratt’s, through their development of the Felnex site, are expected to be SDEN’s first, possibly only, major customer. Last night, the house-buidlers were applying for planning permission to lay an estimated £150,000-worth of hot water piping, but not to serve Felnex or any Barratt’s-built properties. Instead, the piping would allow the SDEN network to provide heating elsewhere, including possibly some Croydon properties.