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FCC withdraws fourth facility application

An operator has withdrawn its fourth application in four years for a waste treatment or energy facility on an Oxfordshire landfill site.

FCC Environment said it had withdrawn an application to build an anaerobic digestion facility at its Sutton Courtenay landfill after planning officials recommended councillors refuse permission.

The firm proposed a 10,000 tonne AD facility to process crops grown on former landfill, but officials at the Vale of White Horse District Council said FCC had failed to prove an overriding need for an industrial operation in a rural area.

Officials said the facility would harm the open character and appearance of the countryside and was contrary to local planning policies.

A spokesman for FCC said the firm was disappointed by the outcome as it had worked to specifically address concerns raised by a previous application refusal.

He added: “We are now reviewing our options and will inform the local community and other interested parties of our plans in due course.”

Planning documents show an application to build an AD plant on the site was withdrawn after similar objections in 2012.

In 2011 the council rejected an application for a 220,000 tonne MBT plant to produce solid recovered fuel because it would “represent a large building in the open countryside”.

An application to build an EfW incinerator at the site was also thrown out for similar reasons in 2009.

According to the Environment Agency website, FCC’s existing composting facility at the site received “numerous complaints from local residents about the smells” during last summer and has received EA advice and guidance on improving the operation.

Construction is also underway of a MRF on the Sutton Courtenay site. Since FCC Environment was created from the merger of WRG Group and Focsa Services last year, part of the company’s strategy has focused on utilising its landfill assets to build waste infrastructure.

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