Grundon’s proposed new waste incinerator at Ford, near Bognor Regis, has been put on hold after minister for local government Kris Hopkins intervened in the process.
West Sussex County Council’s planning committee approved the scheme in July but, before the full council was able to make a final decision, the government stepped in and instructed that no decision could be made without ministers’ approval.
As a result, communities secretary Eric Pickles will now have a key say on the development.
A council spokesperson told MRW: “The county council received a direction from the secretary of state not to grant permission until specific authorisation has been given.
“To be clear, the planning application has not been ‘called in’; the purpose of the direction is to allow the secretary of state to consider whether he wishes to call in the application, that is, to have it referred to him for determination.”
Ford Parish Council, which has been vehemently opposed to the project, claimed that its objections had been one of the reasons for the intervention.
Andrew Short, estates director at Grundons, was unconcerned by the development.
He said: “We have been informed that the Department for Communities and Local Government is currently reviewing the application to ensure it is compliant with government policy.
“The procedure occurs on quite a regular basis and is neither unusual nor unexpected. We are not unduly concerned by this as the proposal is compliant with local, regional and national policy.”
If approved, the facility will handle around 200,000 tonnes of waste from across West Sussex, generating 14MW of electricity and exporting 12MW to the national grid. The other 2MW will be used to power the facility.