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Covanta EfW is IPC's first approval

The Infrastructure Planning Commission has issued its first decision by granting development consent to an energy-from-waste plant in Bedfordshire.

Covanta Energy wants to build a £350m resource recovery facility at Rookery South Pit, a former brick clay extraction pit, near Stewartby in Bedfordshire.

The plant would encompass an EfW facility and post treatement MRF. The site would convert around 585,000 tonnes of residual waste per year into 65MW of electricity - 55MW of this would go to the national grid. At least half of the energy generated will be classified as renewable.

The Infrastructure Planning Committee is an independent body operating in England and Wales set up by the former Labour Government to speed up the planning process of nationally significant infrastructure projects. It aims to make a decision on each application within 12 months.

IPC chair Sir Michael Pitt said: “Today the Commission has completed its first examination of an application, and done so within the timescales prescribed in the Planning Act. The decision, and all the evidence considered by the Panel of Commissioners in reaching their decision, is publicly available on our website.”

Covanta Energy had its bid for a Development Consent Order by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) accepted in August last year.

The application then went through the ‘pre-examination’ and ‘examination’ phase of the IPC decision-making process. During this time the public and interested parties had the opportunity to comment on the application.

The IPC is due to be folded in April 2012 although its fast-tracking processes will be kept.

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