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Nottinghamshire 'disappointed' with Pickles' EfW plant call-in

Nottinghamshire County Council has said it is surprised and disappointed by communities secretary Eric Pickles calling in plans for an energy-from-waste plant.

Planners had approved the application for the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre on a former colliery site on 18 November, with Pickles indicating immediately afterwards that he wanted to review the decision.

On 19 December, MRW reported that Pickles had called in the scheme, and the official letter said he would test whether or not it agreed with the area’s development plan as well as the National Waste Management Plan for England and the National Planning policy Framework.

The council’s planning chair, Cllr John Wilkinson, 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.

“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.”

Wilkinson said the original approval in November could not have been more up-to-date, coming only days after Whitehall had published the latest planning guidance.

The plant would process up to 117,000 tonnes of waste, 15% of which would be recycled.

Nottinghamshire currently faces a 194,000 tonne shortfall in residual waste disposal capacity.

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