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Viridor's East Lothian EfW plans defeated

Viridors plans to build an energy-from-waste plant at Oxwellmains, East Lothian have been unanimously defeated.

The plant was to treat 300,000 tonnes of waste with half made up of municipal solid waste and half as residual commercial and industrial waste. The total waste would be capable of generating over 25 MW of electricity with the potential to provide heat to local businesses in the area.

In response to the refusal Viridor Scottish regional manager Steven Don said: Despite a recognition of need, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency describing the proposal as the best practical environmental option and a strong recommendation for approval from East
Lothian Council professional officers, Viridor is disappointed that councillors chose to refuse our application.

With ambitious Scottish and European zero waste targets we need both increased recycling and smarter ways of managing residual waste. While this decision will inevitably delay our journey to sustainability, we will be reviewing our position in due course.

Although the council has not yet formally listed the reasons for the refusal, a spokesperson from East Lothian Council said: The application was refused because of health concerns, the impact that the transport of the waste would have on local roads and the various concerns of the local community. Some councillors brought up the issue that the EfW would be built on a landfill site that is meant to be restored to its original condition, and this wouldnt be able to happen if the plant were built. Additionally, the huge chimney stack that would have to be put up, may cause visual problems too.

The spokesperson added that it is likely to go to appeal, which could lead to a local public inquiry.

Initially, the application for the EfW facility was to treat 450,000 tonnes of residual waste each year, but after a public consultation and changes to Scottish waste planning policy, Viridor resubmitted the planning application in 2008 for a smaller facility.

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