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Eric Pickles allows Viridor appeal over Ardley incinerator

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has upheld a Viridor appeal against the decision to refuse an initial planning application for the Ardley energy from waste (EfW) facility by Oxfordshire county council.

In a letter, Pickles explained that he was minded to allow the company’s appeal against the council’s decision to reject the application for a 300,000 EfW facility, following a public enquiry held earlier this year.

When complete, the Ardley incinerator will help to divert up to 95% of waste delivered to the facility from landfill, generate 24MW of electricity for the national grid, enough for 22,000 homes.

Viridor planning manager Ian John said: “We welcome this decision which is a step forward in the process relating to permission for our original application. We will respond to the Secretary of State over the matters that he is seeking further representation, and look forward to receiving confirmation of planning permission in February.”

Viridor lodged a second planning application for the same facility shortly before the public enquiry into the first application was due to meet. This second application was adjusted to “reflect current UK energy policy” and was subsequently granted, meaning that Viridor may now have two planning permissions for the same site, after Pickles confirmed his decision not to call in the second application.

John said: “It is now possible that Viridor will be in an unusual position of having two planning permissions for the Ardley site.  We will not be able to comment any further on our intentions until the outcome of the Secretary of State’s decision in February is known.” 

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