A campaign group has vowed to fight on against a controversial £70 million waste incinerator at the former Bilsthorpe colliery site which has been approved by Nottinghamshire County Council.
Members of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee approved the application for the proposed plant at Bilsthorpe Business Park, off Eakring Road this afternoon.
Developers say the proposed Bilsthorpe Energy Centre (BEC) could bring a £4.3 million annual economic boost to Nottinghamshire, creating up to 46 jobs along with some 330 construction jobs and creating supply chain opportunities whilst diverting waste from landfill and using it to generate low-carbon energy.
Newark and Sherwood District Council planning committee has voted against the plans and residents campaign group RAGE (Residents Against Gasification Experiment), have said the plant would be an ‘industrial monstrosity’
Speaking after the meeting, Sara Burton RAGE Secretary said the group would fight the decision. She said:”The group is very disappointed - we feel there was enough evidence and reasons for the committee to object to it.
“This is not over, we will continue to fight.
RAGE’s objections include fears over the impact to health from emission, an increase in traffic and the visual impact of the plant.
Ms Burton said there would only be a handful of local jobs created at the incinerator and most would go to specialist workers from outside the area.
She said RAGE intended to make a call-in request to the Government.
Councillor John Wilkinson, Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Planning Committee said: “Following considerable debate at today’s committee and passionate, reasoned presentations by local residents, representatives and the applicant, members have found the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre application an extremely challenging decision to make.
“However, our role is to carefully balance the evidence presented by the applicant and to consider these against national and local planning policy and guidelines. If an application is to be refused, we must have sound, material planning grounds to do so.
“Peel Environmental’s proposal gives Nottinghamshire the opportunity to be at the forefront of new ways to responsibly recover energy from rubbish and to stop burying it underground creating methane gas, a major contributor to greenhouse gas and global warming. It will create green electricity for over 10,000 homes and businesses and is a step forward in reducing our national reliance on imported coal and gas. It will also support district targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create new jobs on an existing industrial site.
“In addition, around 15 per cent of the 117,000 tonnes of rubbish the plant receives will be recycled - rubbish that would otherwise have gone straight to landfill. And a further 23,000 tonnes of by product created by the electricity generating process will be used as aggregate to help construct new roads, reducing demand for mineral extraction at other sites across the county.
“The construction and operation of the site will be monitored very closely and can only operate under license from the Environment Agency, providing strict safeguards to ensure the site is operated correctly and within stringent guidelines.”
The decision follows a review of an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and supporting information, submitted as part of the application.
Richard Barker, Development Manager at Peel Environmental, said: “Bilsthorpe Energy Centre represents an opportunity to deliver significant investment, job creation and energy infrastructure in Nottinghamshire. “We cannot afford to shy away from the real need for new waste infrastructure in the county.
“Nottinghamshire faces a challenge with dwindling landfill capacity due to the closure of two existing sites.
“Current plans are to send some 120,000 tonnes of municipal waste to out of county facilities for treatment.
“The Bilsthorpe Energy Centre is a carefully considered development on an existing Business Park. There is no question, that if approved it will provide a valuable contribution to managing some of the 1.47 million tonnes created by businesses in the county.”
The BEC will use two processes to recover valuable recyclable materials from residual (left after recycling) waste and export up to 9.6MW of electricity to the National Grid - enough to power the average needs of 23,000 homes.
It is proposed that the BEC will accept commercial, industrial and potentially household waste from Nottinghamshire and the surrounding areas.
The economic benefits of the project have been recognised by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC), who have written in support of the project.
Richard Barker added:
“We have been thorough and extensive in our approach to this project and have considered every aspect of the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre’s construction and operation. The economic and environmental benefits are tangible and we hope councillors recognise this when making their decision.”
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District council votes to reject Bilsthorpe incinerator plans