Eric Pickles calls in plans for controversial incinerator at Bilsthorpe

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Plans for a controversial incinerator plant at Bilsthorpe have been put on hold after a Government minister decided to ‘call in’ a planning application.

The decision follows Nottinghamshire County Council’s decision to pass the application in the face of huge public opposition.

The Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee had resolved to grant planning permission to Peel Environmental for the development at its meeting on 18th November.

However on Friday Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles informed Nottinghamshire County Council he was calling in the application.

Coun John Wilkinson, Chairman of Planning and Licensing Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I am surprised at the decision to call-in the application and disappointed that no reasons have been stated in the letter we received from the Secretary of State today.

“The decision to grant consent was a very difficult one, in the face of a lot of concern from the local community, including politicians from all parties. But for a planning application to be refused, there needs to be sound, material planning reasons for doing so. The application was examined in great detail by professional planning officers and the committee, who came to the same view that no such grounds existed.”

The Secretary of State will now consider the application for the Energy Centre.

If approved, the proposal would see the construction of a new Energy Centre on the site of the former Bilsthorpe Colliery. The centre would use the latest gasification methods to recover energy from rubbish, which previously would have been buried at landfill sites.

MP Mark Spencer, who opposes the development wrote to Eric Pickles after the decision was taken asking him to call-in the application for further scrutiny.

He said there were many unanswered questions concerning the proposed site including waste streams and emissions.

The MP said: “I am delighted that Eric Pickles has listened and done just that, the application will now be fully scrutinised and the decision made by the Secretary of State. I will continue to represent the views of the local people right up until a decision is made. I won’t give up.”