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Landfill site consents fall to all time low

Less than 10% of planning consents granted last year were for waste facilities related to landfill sites, according to research.

Most permissions related to extensions of time to operate the landfill site, rather than new void space, said marketing consultancy BDS Marketing Research.

The study of planning consents in the waste industry found that nearly one in four consents related to anaerobic digestion plants. The next most common permissions related to transfer stations and recycling facilities.

Julian Clapp, principal consultant at BDS, said: “In total, additional void space granted in 2013 at all landfill sites amounted to just six million tonnes of waste. Ongoing increases in the landfill tax are seeing the industry divert tonneages away from landfill and toward a wide range of other treatment processes.

“In the early 1990’s the share of landfill consents would have been over 75%.”

Around 60% of applications were successful last year, with a further 20% looked at by the study still outstanding. The remainder were refused, withdrawn or are the subject of a scoping or screening application.

Most applications were decided within six months, although in one case, it took over four years for an application for a mechanical biological treatment plant to be granted, after an appeal was turned down and a public inquiry took place.

BDS has also found other occasions where a relatively small scheme has taken more than a year to be resolved.

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