Communities secretary Eric Pickles has upheld a planning appeal by Sita, to allow the construction of Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC) at St Dennis, St Austell.
In the decision letter seen by MRW, the document states: “The Secretary of State considers that the benefits of the scheme include diversion of waste away from landfill, the movement of waste up the waste hierarchy, the avoidance of a waste management problem in Cornwall and the related substantial cost to local taxpayers, generation of electricity from a renewable source, the use of generated heat, and the creation of much-needed jobs.
“He concludes that these benefits are substantial and compelling and outweigh the harm by way of visual impact, the effect of traffic noise on two properties at La Mount corner and conflict with the development plan.”
The decision has been welcomed by Cornwall council, whose leader – Cllr Alec Robertson wrote to Pickles, urging him to uphold the appeal for fear that a dismissal would have “dire financial, environmental and operational consequences for the council”.
Speaking on behalf of Cornwall Council as a waste authority, cabinet member for Waste Management Julian German said: “Clearly this has been a very emotive issue and Cornwall Council will work with the local community to see how we can take this forward.
“The delay to the scheme means that there will be changes to the costs which were previously agreed under the 2006 Integrated Waste Management Contract. Cornwall Council will now be working with Sita to negotiate the best deal for taxpayers in Cornwall.”
Planning permission for the 240,000 tonne energy-from-waste (EfW) facility was initially rejected by the former Cornwall County Council in March 2009 – a decision which was appealed by Sita.
Sita project director David Buckle said: “We are very pleased to have received a positive decision from the Secretary of State. We have always believed that the CERC is the best technical, financial and environmental solution for managing Cornwall’s waste.
“We look forward to working with Cornwall Council and local residents to start the work as soon as possible. We understand the importance of continuing to address local concerns and we are committed to engaging with local residents and their elected representatives in the coming months.”