Veolia UK has withdrawn its legal challenge to the Eric Pickles’ decision to refuse planning permission for their proposed incinerator in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire.
After Veolia announced an appeal against the communities secretary’s decision in 2011, the government said it would defend its ruling. Veolia has now applied to the High Court to withdraw the appeal.
Veolia first sought planning permission for the 180,000 tonne a year facility at the former Rufford Colliery site in November 2007. A public inquiry followed in October 2009 amid strong local opposition to the plant by People Against Incineration and the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust because of its effect on wildlife, particularly local birdlife.
The controversial and long-running inquiry was adjourned three times to address issues arising from the EU Habitat Regulations.
In May 2011, plans for the incinerator were turned down by Pickles, in line with the findings of the public inquiry that the plant would adversely affect wildlife. Nottinghamshire County Council estimated the failed bid would cost them £13m.
Steve Mitchell, managing director, Veolia Environmental Services said: “With the development of any waste management facility of this size there are always challenges during the planning process. We’ve have been working very closely with the county council to formulate a Revised Project Plan that will meet the county councils needs going forward.
“Our partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council began in 2006 and since that time we’ve collectively increased the county’s recycling rate, improved the performance of all of Nottinghamshire’s household waste recycling centres and delivered a state of the art recycling facility in Forest Town that has delivered nearly 70 full time jobs.”
Veolia is six years into a 26-year PFI contract to manage household waste in Nottinghamshire, and aims to boost household recycling and composting in the county to 52% by 2021.
He added “I’m confident that with this track record we can agree and implement a revised project plan that will divert the residual waste that is currently sent to landfill.”
Janice Bradley, head of conservation policy and planning for the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, said the area hosted protected bird species including nightjar and woodlark.
“I hope that we can now draw a line under this long saga of immense community and Wildlife Trust resources having to be committed to fight to protect our wildlife and landscape heritage, and can now focus those resources on positive conservation effort, where we can work together for a shared vision of a wildlife-rich landscape that all can enjoy.”