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Two incinerator projects move forward

Two major incinerator projects progressed last week in the North and the South-west.  

Urbaser Balfour Beatty’s bid to land a £500m waste contract in Gloucestershire was given a boost when the county council’s scrutiny committee upheld the decision to name the consortium as preferred bidder.

The committee found “no grounds” to overturn the original decision despite claims by Liberal Democrats the project did not have backing of local residents.

The deal centres around an incinerator with an annual capacity of 175,000 tonnes, which will treat residual household waste across Gloucestershire.

Urbaser Balfour Beatty said it would save the council £150m in landfill tax over the life of the 25-year contract.    

Gloucestershire County Council Liberal Democrat leader Jeremy Hilton said: “The Tory cabinet has ploughed on regardless of public opinion.”

Meanwhile, Veolia told a Leeds City Council planning committee last week it would submit a formal application for an Energy Recovery Facility this summer.

The 180,000 tonnes-per-annum ERF will be used primarily to deal with the city’s municipal residual waste, as well as treating about 30,000 tonnes of non-hazardous commercial and industrial waste.

Veolia was handed preferred bidder status for the estimated £550m contacted, part-financed by £68.6m of private finance initiative credits, last year.

The company hopes to start construction in summer 2013, with the facility scheduled to become fully operational in spring 2016 if the application is successful.

Some Leeds councillors registered opposition to the plans, however.

Labour’s Peter Gruen said: “The height of the building and the height of the stack are issues in terms of visual harm that exercise me most from a planning point of view.”

The Health Protection Agency last week confirmed it would begin a study in April into the potential health risks of incinerators.

Experts warned earlier this month that such a study could make it harder to get incinerators through planning.

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