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Eric Pickles calls in Mercia EfW planning application

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has called in proposals for Mercia Waste Management’s 200,000 tonne EnviRecover energy-from-waste (EfW) facility for his own determination.

Planning permission was granted “in principle” by Worcestershire county council’s planning committee, who voted unanimously in favour of being ‘minded to approve’ plans for the facility on Hartlebury Trading Estate, Worcestershire in March 2011.

However, the decision had to be referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, rather than Defra, because the trading estate is surrounded by greenbelt land. Pickles then took the decision to call-in the proposal under powers awarded to him by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Mercia co-director John Plant said: “We understand that the Secretary of State believes that our planning application raises issues of more than local importance that need further consideration before any final decision can be made to allow EnviRecover to be developed at Hartlebury Trading Estate.

“It is important to recognise our application has received full support from Worcestershire County Council’s planning committee and all technical statutory consultees. Furthermore, the locally conducted opinion survey showed that over 90% of local residents supported thermal treatment of residual waste.”

Mercia Waste Management is the PFI contractor for Herefordshire council and Worcestershire county council’s municipal waste treatment and disposal. If approved, the £120m EnviRecover facility will take three years to be built and provide 30 local jobs.

No date has been set for the public inquiry.

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