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Two Badly Needed PFI Waste Projects Hit By Major Planning Problems

Despite previous reviews and setbacks which had all be overcome a planned Surrey Facility has been stopped, and the planned facility to serve Cornwall is now suffering the same fate. This is despite the fact that these new waste facilities are being introduced at huge cost as a new generation of low emissions facilities to divert waste from landfills, which are the landfills that the same locals will have already rejected.

Just when will our society realise that when everyone produces such large quantities of waste, the waste HAS to be processed and disposed of somehow, and somewhere, and that it is unreasonable to expect to send it out of the area in which the waste was created!

In our first case the Surrey County Council Energy from Waste (EfW) facility, which only received planning permission in October 2008, now looks set to face further delays after a successful challenge against its development by the local parish council. Surrey Waste Management’s proposal for the facility at the Clockhouse Brickworks site in Capel, Surrey, has suffered a myriad of set-backs and challenges since the original planning permission, granted as far back as 2002, was overturned.

An official judgment is expected to have been made by the end of February (after this issue has gone to press). The 100000 tonnes capacity facility was intended to be operational in 2012 as part of a PFI-funded deal between Sita subsidiary, Surrey Waste Management, and the county council.

Our second problem waste processing facility in Cornwall has been rejected and new plans must be drawn up, so the problem is really serious for the citizens of Cornwall. The following is an extract from the BBC News item highlighting the problem:

New county waste plans ‘needed’

An alternative strategy for dealing with Cornwall’s waste needs to be drawn up as soon as possible, a council scrutiny committee has ruled.

The call to Cornwall Council comes after plans by waste company Sita for an incinerator at St Dennis were refused two weeks ago.

Sita then withdrew proposals for a waste centre at Scorrier last week.

The council will decide whether to follow the recommendation for a waste plan after elections later in the year.

Cornwall Council’s Environment Policy and Development Scrutiny Committee recommended that a dedicated panel be set up to look at alternatives.

The committee’s chairman, independent councillor Mark Kaczmarek, said: “It is essential that Cornwall has a clear way forward to deal with its waste.

“Our remaining landfill is running out. Far too much time and money has been wasted over the last few years and no solution to Cornwall’s waste disposal has been created. Cornwall Council must make this issue a priority.”

The full council will decide whether to follow the recommendation for a waste plan after it holds its elections in June.

County councillors voted 20-to-one on 26 March against Sita’s bid to build a waste-to-energy incinerator in the county. Planning officials had advised the council to grant the application.

The £117m waste-to-energy plant would have handled all of Cornwall’s waste – an estimated 240,000 tonnes of waste a year which would, in turn, have generated power for thousands of homes across the county. More here.

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