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Oxwellmains EfW Rejection Follows Similar Rejection Path to Cornwall

The summer really does seem to have ended with a bang, and by that I mean not only thundery storms, given the important news out today at the Lets’Recycle web site. The news is out that Viridor is disappointed by Oxwellmains EfW rejection (Wednesday 02 September 2009 Councils News), as follows:

Waste management firm Viridor has expressed its disappointment at East Lothian council’s decision to reject planning permission for its Dunbar combined heat and power plant despite “strong recommendation” for approval from the council’s planning officers.

East Lothian’s planning committee yesterday (September 1) voted unanimously against the company’s proposal to build a 300,000 tonnes-a-year capacity energy-from-waste facility on land at its existing Oxwellmains landfill site, which lies 40km east of Edinburgh.

Another EfW Plant Rejected

Another EfW Plant Rejected

A spokesman for East Lothian council told that 12 out of 15 councillors had attended the planning meeting and all 12 had voted to reject planning permission.

This was despite the planning documents containing a recommendation from planning officers to approve the project subject to a number of conditions – including beginning operations within three years of approval being granted.

The spokesman said that, under new planning controls, the councillors would now have a “few weeks” to formulate a document outlining the reasons why they refused permission.

Commenting on the rejection, Steve Don, Viridor’s Scottish regional manager, said: “Despite a recognition of need, SEPA 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.

Under the proposal, the Dunbar facility would have been used to process 150,000 tonnes-a-year of municipal residual waste collected from Edinburgh and East and Mid-Lothian councils, and 150,000 tonnes-a-year of commercial and industrial residual waste from the surrounding region.

Viridor had previously revised its planning application for the proposed Dunbar facility in May 2008 following a public consultation, which saw its initial 450,000 tonne-a-year capacity proposal scaled-down to “reflect local need” (see story).

Mr Don added: “With ambitious Scottish and European Zero Waste targets we need both increased recycling and smarter ways of managing residual waste. Whilst this decision will inevitably delay our journey to sustainability, we will be reviewing in due course.”

The spokesman for East Lothian said that he expected Viridor to appeal against the decision, which would “probably be subject to a public inquiry”. More here.

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