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Veolia to continue with Rufford ERF plans

Following speculation that it may abandon its proposals, Veolia Environmental Services has said it wishes continue with plans to build a controversial energy recovery facility in Nottinghamshire.

As reported in MRW on May 7, it looked as though Veolia may not proceed with its plans to build the energy from waste plant on the former Rufford Colliery in Rainworth after requesting to adjourn a public inquiry for the second time.

The request for an adjournment came from Veolia just one week into the inquiry when Natural England made a submission of evidence surrounding whether the site should be designated as a Special Protection Area because protected bird species are found there.

Veolia was given until today (May 18) to decide whether it wished to continue with the inquiry and, in a statement issued by Bond Pearce LLP acting on behalf of Veolia, it has confirmed that it will proceed.

The statement said: “The applicant wishes to proceed with the inquiry without any further adjournment and the inquiry should, as agreed by the inspector, then resume at 9am on Tuesday 28 September 2010 at Rainworth Village Hall.”

Veolia now proposes to provide more detailed evidence on which to base a detailed assessment on the impact of the development on the bird populations living there before the inquiry resumes in September.

UK Without Incineration (UK WIN) national coordinator Shlomo Dowen who has also been acting on behalf of the People Against Incineration Network (PAIN) in Nottinghamshire said: “PAIN has mixed feelings about Veolia’s decision to carry on with the public inquiry into their proposed Sherwood Forest incinerator. We are disappointed that this process will now drag on for many more months, further adding to the public expense and further delaying progress towards a sustainable waste management strategy.

“PAIN welcomes the prospect of a comprehensive and independent report from the Planning Inspector, although this report, and the accompanying decision by the Secretary of State, is unlikely to be released before 2011 at the earliest.”

Veolia Environmental Services Nottinghamshire managing director Steve Mitchell said: “We have written to the Planning Inspectorate to confirm to them that we wish to proceed with the inquiry. Following recent meetings with other stakeholders, the additional ecological assessment work requested will be undertaken in the next few months and this will be put into the public domain prior to the reconvened inquiry.

“Since early 2006 we have worked very closely with Nottinghamshire County Council and the Rainworth community to deliver a multi million pound Energy Recovery Facility on the former Rufford colliery site. The facility will divert Nottinghamshire’s residual waste away from landfill and deliver huge economic investment and new jobs to the Rainworth area. We are very much looking forward to reconvening at the inquiry on Spetember 28 to continue to work through the planning and legal process to achieve this.”

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