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Amey appeals against councillors' decision to block £200m incinerator

Amey is to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate following Cambridgeshire County Council’s rejection of its proposal to build a £200m energy-from-waste (EfW) facility at Waterbeach.

Council officers had recommended acceptance of the application, but councillors turned it down because of damage to the setting of the nearby 12th century Denny Abbey.

Amey said it was “surprised and disappointed” by this and that the proposed location, adjacent to existing waste disposal facilities, was the most appropriate place because it would provide ‘one-stop’ site for waste processing.

A company statement said: “Amey has therefore decided to submit an appeal…to overturn this decision, and is confident that an inspector will support its case.”

Cambridgeshire rejected the application last September despite the 165ha site being allocated in its plans for waste industry use, including EfW.

Amey had proposed to treat up to 250,000 tonnes a year of residual waste to create 27.4MW of electricity from a plant that required an 80m-high chimney. But objectors including South Cambridgeshire District Council said this would ruin the setting of Denny Abbey.

The appeal comes days after Cory Riverside chief executive Nicholas Pollard warned that London was facing a “waste capacity crisis”.

This was in response to a comment by Greater London Authority deputy mayor for environment and energy Shirley Rodrigues, who said a planned expansion of the company’s EfW capacity at Belvedere was not needed.

Cory is looking to build a second incinerator at its Riverside Energy Park, which would take in 655,000 tonnes a year of residual waste, if planning permission is granted.

Defra has insisted for a number of years that the UK will have enough treatment options to deal with expected residual waste volumes. But the Environmental Services Association has consistently warned of an impending capacity gap.

A report by consultancy Tolvik found that London and the south-east are in danger of running out of landfill space by 2025, meaning the regions’ planned capacity for EfW would need to be doubled in order to cope.

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