An appeal against a proposed £43m energy-from-waste incinerator in Invergordon has been overturned by the Scottish Government, meaning that planning permission for the facility has now been granted.
The facility, proposed by Combined Power and Heat (Highlands), was the subject of fierce local opposition and an appeal by Highland Council. But the Scottish Government’s reporter Daniel Onn has said that the Cromarty Firth Industrial Park is an appropriate location for the facility and that the plans are consistent with the Highland structure plan and the national planning policy.
Onn said that “any perceived risk to public health would not outweigh the plant’s compliance with the development plan”, and that any extra traffic generated as a result of the plant “is unlikely on its own to make the roads any more dangerous”.
More than 2,000 residents had signed a petition opposing the plant, and many are said to be very angry at the decision to go ahead with the plans.
A spokesman for the Highland Greens said: “This proposal was never right for Invergordon and still isn’t. Turning Invergordon into the waste capital of the Highlands is not the way forward.”
And UK Without Incineration national co-ordinator Shlomo Dowen said: “I am not sure what will happen now, given that Scotland operates slightly different planning laws to England. But it is obviously not good news that the incinerator has been given the go-ahead.”