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Veolia call to Planning Inspectorate to request further information rejected

Waste management company Veolia has called on the Planning Inspectorate to request the “submission of further information” as part of plans to include improved flue gas treatment technology in the company’s Shropshire energy-from-waste (EfW) appeal.

A letter seen by MRW sent from the company’s legal representatives to the Planning Inspectorate seeks a “request from the Inspector for the submission of further information relating to the Environmental Statement” for the 90,000 EfW facility in Shrewsbury, which was rejected by Shropshire council in September 2010.

The letter states: “Veolia now considers that plant efficiency, as demonstrated by the calculation set out in the Waste Directive 2008 (2008/98/EC), can be improved through the use of improved flue gas treatment technology.

“Veolia intend to use this new technology for the Battlefield EfW. They therefore propose to re-visit the Environmental Statement to take into account any impacts which may result from this change in technology, although they anticipate at this stage that any impacts will not be significant. Veolia propose to provide this further information for consideration as part of the appeal inquiry.”

In response, the Planning Inspectorate responded that the inspector “sees no need to request

‘further information’ under Regulation 19. He points out that it is for the appellant to decide whether they wish to submit the above as ‘any other information’ as defined in the EIA Regulations.”

UK Without Incineration Network co-ordinator Shlomo Dowen told MRW that the a request for the submission is “not the proper procedure”. He said: “If Veolia simply choose to submit evidence at a late stage and that results in additional costs to the various parties and delays which result in costs, if that traces back to them submitting new information at a late date, they would have responsibility to that. If all they were doing was responding to a request from the inspector for more information, the responsibility would be with the inspector for having asked them for more information.”

Veolia Environmental Services’ spokesperson said: “We are proposing a modification to the flue gas treatment technology used in the proposed energy from waste facility at Battlefield in order to improve the energy efficiency of the plant, taking into account the recent EC Guidelines.  This has become possible due to availability of dry flue gas treatment, which we consider to be more effective.  This was not available when the planning application was originally submitted in 2008.

 “This would only involve a minor change to the plant and no change to the external appearance or dimensions of the facility and there would be no additional or increased environmental impacts. 

 “The letter from the Inspectorate is at this stage simply addressing the procedure to be adopted. The Inspector sees no need to request “further information” under Regulation 19 of the EIA Regulations. However, the letter states that if Veolia wish to submit the further information, we are requested to publicise its availability in accordance with Regulation 19.”

Veolia’s appeal against the decision is due to be heard in September 2011.

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