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Biffa incinerator avoids legal challenge

Leicestershire politicians have decided against a fresh legal attempt to block Biffa’s planned incinerator in Shepshed.

MP for Loughborough, Nicky Morgan (Con) said following discussions with the county council, which has opposed its construction, they had decided there were no legal grounds to challenge its construction any further.

The county council had twice refused planning permission for the 30,000 tonnes a year Biffa facility at Newhurst Quarry in the village of Shepshed, which was also opposed by both local MPs.

But following an appeal by Biffa, the Department for Communities & Local Government overturned the council’s decision [pdf].

Morgan said: “Everyone locally has run a terrific campaign but, unfortunately, Biffa’s appeal was allowed and our objections were over ruled.

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to express our collective disappointment and concern and to ask how this decision made by a nationally appointed Planning Inspector sits with the Government’s localism agenda.”

Cllr Christine Radford added: “I remain utterly opposed to this incinerator but as all our legal and planning opportunities to oppose it have been exhausted I will now be working to ensure that Biffa honour the planning conditions they have agreed.”

Biffa planning and permitting manager Jeff Rhodes said after Biffa was finally given permission: “This is a really important decision for Biffa and for Leicestershire, as the area currently has no long term landfill diversion solution for waste.

“We believe that it makes no environmental or financial sense to put waste which we cannot recycle into landfill when the value inherent within it can be used to generate renewable energy.

“It is gratifying to see that the secretary of state agreed and considered the reasons for approving it to be ‘substantial and compelling’.”

Meanwhile the Environment Agency has begun a consultation of an application for a permit for a proposed EfW plant at Allerton Park, North Yorkshire.

The EA will hold a drop-in session for residents on Thursday 2 August.

The application for an environmental permit to run the proposed facility was been made by Amey Cespa.

Darren Leng, regulatory officer at the Environment Agency, said: “We appreciate that there is interest in this application from local people. So we have arranged this event to give the community the opportunity to come and discuss the application with us and hear their views.

“It’s our role to make sure that energy from waste plants are operated to meet strict environmental standards and the conditions of their environmental permits.”

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