The Environment Agency (EA) has said it has granted an environmental permit for the proposed energy from waste (EfW) facility in Ardley, Oxfordshire.
The permit relates to a proposal by waste management company Viridor to build a 300,000-tonne-a-year facility at Ardley Fields Farm.
Viridor’s proposal has faced fierce opposition from local residents and was the subject of a planning inquiry which concluded in July. The outcome of this planning inquiry will not be known until December when the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is due to give his decision.
However, yesterday’s decision by the EA is being seen by Viridor as a “key milestone” in the project.
Commenting on the decision Viridor project manager Robert Ryan said: “We are proposing a facility which will use state-of-the-art technology, capable of delivering an effective alternative to landfill that meets to the strictest environmental standards. The Agency’s decision demonstrates that our proposals are sound, safe and robust”.
EA area manager Matt Carter said: ““We have carried out a thorough assessment of this application and taken into account all of the comments received during extensive consultation.
“In granting this permit we are satisfied that the plant can be built and operated in a manner that does not pose a significant risk to the environment or public health. We will make sure that any plant that is built will meet high environmental standards and will be operated safely.”
The facility is expected to create 40 permanent jobs as well as generating up to 24MW of electricity which will be supplied to the National Grid.