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EfW appeal rejected after failure to demonstrate recovery

An appeal over the construction of an energy from waste (EfW) plant on Merseyside has been rejected by planning inspectors because it did not meet the efficiency standards required to be deemed a recovery facility.

The original 2013 application from operators Waste to Energy was for a facility in St Helens capable of burning 90,000 tonnes a year but local residents were concerned about air quality, pollution and traffic.

In March 2014, St. Helens Council rejected the facility because:

  • the applicant failed to show the development would be low carbon
  • there was already sufficient capacity for EfW on Merseyside
  • the development would have a detrimental impact on the area

An appeal was launched by Waste to Energy (NW) Ltd, in consultation with Oaktree Environmental but a planning inspector agreed there was no evidence to suggest that the area needed such a facility.

The inspector said: “The appellant has not convincingly demonstrated that the carbon credentials of the proposal are likely to be such that I should have confidence in considering it as a waste recovery facility.”

St Helens Council fought the appeal with assistance from the United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN).

Shlomo Dowen, national coordinator with UKWIN said: “We had argued all along that the proposal should be seen as one for a disposal facility and that the incinerator would therefore fail to drive waste management up the waste hierarchy.

“The planning committee was vindicated in doubting the unsubstantiated claims of the applicant, and this outcome should encourage other decision makers to ensure the burden of proof remains squarely with the applicant.”

Oaktree was not available for comment.

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