A Devonport mother travels to Germany to question the company proposing to build a big incinerator in Plymouth. And the story of a marine who lost three limbs in Afghanistan.
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Welcome to Inside Out South West, stories from or where you live.
Tonight, battle of the burner, one woman's campaign to stop a waste
incinerator being built in Plymouth. I am afraid I have become a number,
it is a simple case of not in my backyard -- become a NIMBY.
The astonishing courage of injured Royal Marine, Mark Ormrod. I get up
every day and just live my life, because it could have been over in
an instant. And the fight for Goonhilly. Everybody I have spoken
to said, yes, go for it, you have to save it, it is a global icon.
critical bid to launch a new future for Cornwall's space station. I am
Sam Smith and this is Inside Out 1 Inside Out, we bring you stories
from close to home, but our first tale is a little too close for some
of the people in this part of Plymouth. Because there are plans
to build a waste incinerator just down there, plants which have got
one local woman really fired up. -- plans which have. That woman is
Donna Ruiz. She is facing her worst fears. It is like the jaws of hell.
Donna is furious that an incinerator similar to this is
planned 500 metres from her home. You are basically building this
thing in my back garden, and I have no choice, nobody asked for my
permission. Donna is campaigning against the proposed plan that
incinerator. Signatures are great, thank you very much. Any bit of
wind and it will take the dust to you. That's really bad.
Incineration is not the answer, there has to be a better thing.
wants the plan abandoned. This is my family, this is the next
generation. Their children are going to be affected by this
horrendous incinerator that is on our doorstep. Back in March,
Devon's council signed a 25 year contract with developer, MVV, but
the project has not been given planning permission yet. If we can
make everybody aware of what is happening on their doorstep, I
think we can win. This is the proposed site, land currently owned
by the Navy on the edge of Devonport dockyard. This then
becomes your land again, and our secures own, and your grade one
fence, is along the southern edge here. The developers want to start
building it next year. They are determined to win the backing of
councillors, for what they say is an urgently needed facility. This
is not a dark satanic mill, it is a very modern, highly controlled
piece of process equipment that is doing a very valuable job,
diverting waste away from landfill, where it isn't the right place to
be. The closest houses would be 62 metres away. On the average day,
there would be 264 lorry movements, one every 2.5 minutes. That anybody
could come here and disrupt a whole community, take away our fresher,
our held off... Our life, really. - our health. The developers says
such fears are unfounded and it will comply with tough
environmental standards. It could also supplied the dockyard with
cheap, steam generated power, which would effectively saved the
taxpayer �400 million over 25 years. But the price of that is to cite
the burner in a densely populated area. Dunn and her girls are
waiting to meet one of the councillors who awarded the
contract -- Donna and her girls. need to know if he can live with
the decision that it is going to be built in an area where there are 10
primary schools. Donna seizes her chance to put her case to
Councillor Roger Croad. On a nice summer day, children playing in the
playground, chimneys smoking 1,000 metres from their playground, are
they safe? I would say that they are. The Health Protection Agency
have given us the all clear on this. The Environment Agency will look at
the permit. They will tell us whether this is safe or not. I have
no question that with the other 400 plants that are in Europe, the
technology is safe. Councillor Croad agrees to display Macie's
drawing that counts in all, but Don is not satisfied. -- at County Hall.
I am not convinced he would be happy for his grandchildren to
attend a primary-school where the movements of 300 odd lorries are
happening, yards from their playground. This is happening for
financial reasons. No health has Dr Dick van Steenis is a retired GP.
He believes babies living downwind of incinerators face an increased
risk of dying before their first birthday. His analysis of infant
mortality data has not been published or checked by experts, it
is far from conclusive. But he says the figures are worrying. When you
look at the health data, we have nine different health Parameters
per electoral ward and in London we have five different maps with five
different outcomes, and it is the same map for the lot. There is no
way it could be explained by anything other than incinerators
causing it. The Health Protection Agency said plants which are well
run and educated at are not a significant risk. But it is
planning a study of babies born near incinerators, something that
Dr van Steenis says he has been suggesting for years. I think they
are highly embarrassed and it is a good sign they are promising a
study at least, because it shows they are worried sick. More
concerned than ever, Croad is on her way to Germany, to see
incinerator technology for herself. It is the first time she has left
her children in six years. This is not something I normally do, I am a
mother, two little girls, we get along with our lives as best as we
can. I have involved my girls, I am fighting for their life.
The good girls, and have fun. -- Be Good girls. MVV's sites near
Leipzig is about twice the size of what is proposed near Plymouth and
she is chose it -- shown around by the man in charge. Dr Hoffman.
are very close to the equipment, it seems to be quite big. If you are a
bit away, it does not seem so big. If you are going to compare it to
the site in Plymouth, the nearest house is 62 metres, they are very
close. That is very close. Plymouth, the waste delivery area
would be enclosed to reduce noise and smell. That was a bit stinky,
possibly not as bad as I thought. My been day after a fish supper,
possibly. -- being -- bin collection day. Donna has shown how
-- is shown how pollutants are removed. We have 1,000 all more of
these bags. The air is sucked out of the middle. All of the gas that
has the pollutants we don't want to go into the atmosphere gets stuck
on the edge of this bag, which is a very efficient materials. The air
is drawn up, it is very clean now, through a flan and -- a fan and
taken up the stack. Some gases make it through the filter systems but
they are monitored to make sure they stay below EU limits. Can I
ask you to have a look at the stack and tell me what you can see?
mean nothing coming out of the top? It was a prompted questions.
assure you there is hot gas coming out of that, and it is very clean.
These houses are 450 metres from the incinerator. That is the
distance from Donna's home to the Devonport side. There is a proposed
planning of an incinerator near where my family and I live in
England. It is MVV. You live near an incinerator which belongs to MVV.
Did you ever have any concerns when the proposal went through? No, she
says. I don't hear anything, I don't smile anything. Do you ever
freer -- feel you are too close? TRANSLATION: I really need to say,
we don't notice anything much at all. At the start of her journey,
Donna was against incineration anywhere. Now she is just against
it in Devonport. Before this programme, I did not know the word
NIMBY. I was introduced to it by being on this programme. And I
didn't want to be seen as a NIMBY. But after being here and seeing the
site where this incineration plant is, I am afraid I have become a
NIMBY. It is a simple case of, not in my backyard, because they are
better sides than the one at Devonport to build this incinerator.
Back in Plymouth, Donna's girls are waiting with a warm welcome home.
For the sake of their futures, Donna is unwilling to embrace
current plans for a burner in her backyard.
Next, in this week of remembrance, we have the inspiring story of Mark
Ormrod from Plymouth, a 28-year-old veteran of Afghanistan, who has
Mark Ormrod is heading to the Commando Training Centre at
Lympstone in Devon. It is a place where no one that passes through
ever forgets. Every time you come back, you get the old not in the
pit of your stomach. When you approached the gates. I think
everybody goes through it. This is where it all started, this is where
you went through the pain and the shouting. Learning everything from
Now this former marine is learning from scratch, all over again. Mark
Ormrod is a triple amputee, the first to return to the UK from
Afghanistan. He is back at Lympstone not as a casualty, but as
a campaigner for a charity he cares passionately about.
I believe in their mission and what they want to do. I have seen first
and, one of the most seriously injured going back from a task done,
how they help. -- coming back from Afghanistan. He works for the Royal
Marines Association, celebrating its 25th anniversary. He has a
fantastic sense of humour. I think he makes people realise that no
matter how bad they think their life might be, it could be an awful
lot worse. But he is actually The RMA provides welfare support
not just to serving troops but to veterans of all conflicts. For Mark,
this anniversary get together means two days of book signing,
schmoozing and being on his feet. Good morning, how are you doing?
It's quite a challenge. Around Christmas, I discovered that if I
it stood on the spot and did not walk around, I got infections in my
leg. I have not had it since, but I have to be mindful of it. I could
not stand for many hours without moving around and getting the blood
pumping it through my legs. And big news back home means he can't even
let his hair down in traditional commando style. I got to behave, I
can't drink because might wife is away so I am on call. Mark's life
changed forever on Christmas Eve 2007. On patrol in Helmand, he was
blown up by a Taliban IED, an Improvised Explosive Device. His
recovery was astonishing. start! -- I am stuck! He took
himself to the US for intensive rehab on prosthetics and just three
years after losing his limbs, took part in a fundraising run across
America. Yes! That was it! I can't tell you what I am feeling, I'm so
proud. And not for Mark an expensively modified car, just a
3.50 sanding block to line the accelerator up with the break and a
remote control for his leg. Beep twice. Now it is stark. Now I can
literally break, accelerate. -- use the brakes. Mark's off to collect
some VIP guests. The trouble is he's something of a celeb himself.
I just can't tell you what a privilege it is to meet you. I
wanted your book, but you had gone. I want you to send it for me.
problem. I'm going to go to the gate and the right back down.
we be? Where d one me to be? Best of the today! Did you see that?
the hall, veterans are gathering to hear Mark's story. He's to speak
for an hour on his feet. You are surrounded by a bunch of
testosterone driven men. You don't want to be a let-down to them. I
don't care how much it hurts to stand up for an hour and do it
properly. How long have we got? minutes. Many in the audience will
have their own war story, but Mark's is pretty special. I want to
get into the prime position myself. -- I detonated and I E D. I was
like, really? Is this really happening? My adrenalin system
kicked in and there wasn't much Sean, the commander, I told him to
shoot me because I did not want to go back without anything. Lucky the
meat he didn't. The charity needs the boost Mark can give it. Like
some of the other small military charities, its efforts have been
somewhat overshadowed by the fundraising giant Help for Heroes.
But what many people don't realise is that Help for Heroes doesn't
help heroes injured before 9/11. The British Legion and other
organisations have veterans from other conflicts and their needs are
as great as the lads who are being injured today.. Back in the hall,
Mark describes the pitfalls of being one of that new generation of
casualties. I seem to have created my own sport out of it while I
guess it could be called disabled a boxing, all it could come to that.
I park in a disabled parking spot and people walk past and go, tut
tut. And then they carry on walking. When I get out of the car and go to
the cash machine, I go, morning! is an absolute, total inspiration.
Everything he does, he handles with such aplomb. Nothing is a problem
to him. The talk went well, but Mark's on the move again. Richie's
worried he's overdoing it. You can change the resistance in this
hydraulic. One of the things about Mark is that he pushes himself
really hard. Which days are you better with? Not that I would admit
that to him because he would probably sat me! Outside they're
getting ready for the annual parade. Mark takes a moment to visit a
memorial to fallen comrades. Humbled, very fortunate and lucky
to be alive. This is what stops me moaning. This is why I don't get up
in the morning complaining and why it when I have a sore leg, I don't
moan about it. I get up every day and live my life. It could have
Mark is happy to use his remarkable story to help the RMA. Since I have
worked for them and seeing the good they do and how they help people
and change their lives, it is my mission to spread the word about
this organisation and let everyone know how they have supported me.
The weekend's been a big success. Mark has just one complaint.
can't wait to tear the sitter off and get back into my scruffy shorts
and T-shirt! Mark heads home to await the arrival of his new baby.
His biggest challenge now? I am delighted to say mark is now
the proud father of a baby boy called Mason.
It's been a nail-biting week for South West entrepreneurs. Some have
been celebrating after hearing they'll get millions of pounds
worth of public funding. But for one iconic south west landmark
getting such cash could mean the difference of their plans in the
field of space science lifting off or crash landing back down to Earth.
Reaching out across the Atlantic and into the skies above. Goonhilly
Earth Station changed our lives forever. The first live television
pictures from across the Atlantic were beamed here via satellite. But
now some of these dishes are destined for the scrapheap.
everyone has said you have to save it. It is a global icon. It is so
important to us at the Red Arrows. It is something that we can use for
the next 50 years. For 30 years, Des Prouse was a BT engineer at
Goonhilly. When he heard the earth station was to be dismantled he
made it his ambition to save the site. Then a former colleague came
up with a vision to bring Goonhilly back to life. I had almost given up
hope until Ian Jones became a long to meet three years ago with this
vision of space science and communications with a spacecraft
going off to Mars and things like this. Suddenly you think, yes,
there is a real application. People will pay us to use it for those
purposes and away we go. The future of this site is the hands of Ian
Jones. He worked here for BT before launching his own successful
business. He has a vision and cash and is leasing the site from BT.
These dishes could be adapted to look into deep space and track
missions to Mars. They've applied for �6 million from the Regional
Growth Fund and today they're meeting potential business partners.
We have to move forward with money. We have been working on this for
three years without money and it is all run on passion. This meeting is
crucial today. Goonhilly is throwing open its gates to
potential business partners. To impress the visitors Des and Ian
want to show the dishes are still working - by getting one them to
move again. Engineer Edie makes it sound easy. You work out why you
want the antenna to. So the angles are on the controls the here and
the antenna will go to that position. But the last time it
really moved was 25 years ago. And the dishes are showing their age.
What has happened? It has just stopped. Is there a problem? Yes..
With the visitors waiting outside it's bad timing, and looks like a
major setback. But then it comes to life. Is it working? Yes. Above our
heads, there is an enormous antenna structure looking around the sky.
You want to go outside and have a look, don't you? With the dishes on
the move they now hope the funding will flow for a new beginning for
the earth station. What are your impressions?
Absolutely amazing. It is back to the old days of out and out
engineering. Are you one step closer? Absolutely! Four years ago,
we thought it was the end, but now it is just the beginning of the
next stage so this is just great to see. Goonhilly has witnessed the
dawn of the space age beamed live It is one small step for man, one
giant leap for mankind. Europe saw some of the defining moments of
history via Goonhilly. It all started even further back in 1962
with the first satellite television pictures. That is a man's face bore
stop that is a man's base, there it is! -- a man of's face. Spreading
the word about plans for Goonhilly. Oxford University along with Leeds
and Hertfordshire want the dishes to be part of a massive global
telescope project. There are very few sites in the UK where these
facilities and dishes exist. There -- they are not being reduced their
anything so it is a massive opportunity to, rather than build
your own radio dish, use existing facilities that are perfectly good
enough to do this, and put them off -- up. It is silly to waste them.
The visitors are sold on the idea but the team are still in the dark
over whether the Government will part with �6 million of cash
funding. The decision is imminent. Monday the 31st of October, the day
the Government announces the winners and losers of the Regional
Growth Fund. This has been going on for four-and-a-half, nearly five
years. We are getting quite anxious about it. They're expecting a phone
call from Ian with the news. RNAS Yeovilton. -- Goonhilly. I have had
a look on his website and we are not on the list. I don't know what
What do you think? Well, not on the list. He didn't say whether it was
a full list, did he? A So they check for themselves on the
Government website. The fact that we are not a blur in bold letters
under south-west is disappointing. Very disappointing. Disappointed
not to see it there. Very disappointed. It isn't what they
are expecting Ian calls again. Ian is convinced they are in line for
some kind of funding. Fine. No, I am not find actually. What is
happening? OK. Goodbye. This is very interesting. It sounds like he
was fully expecting to be on that list and they are not on that list
so he was chasing to find out why they are not on the list. So there
is still a glimmer of hope of some cash help, and a future for the
dishes. The place is still here, it has not been demolished and we will
have to keep going. We will be slower, but we will have to keep
going. We will not let it get us. And today, a week on, they'd hoped
for some good news on funding. But for now the sleeping giants of West
We follow a Devonport mother as she travels to Germany to question the company proposing to build a big incinerator just 500 metres from her home in Plymouth. Sam Smith tells the remarkable story of Mark Ormrod - a marine who lost three limbs in an explosion in Afghanistan.