Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Ratcliffe-on-Soar incinerator to be given planning permission next week

A new £330 million waste incinerator planned for the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station could be given full planning permission next week after the Secretary of State gave final approval power to the county council.

Councillors first discussed the plans in June last year and viewed the incinerator as acceptable, giving the proposals planning permission in principle by nine votes to three.

The plans were referred to the Government due to the size and background of the proposals, but now Nottinghamshire County Council has confirmed the Secretary of State Michael Gove did not wish to ‘call in’ the application for further consideration.

It means the authority can now progress towards giving the incinerator plans full planning permission and issuing a decision notice.

The large development will take over part of the current power station site once it has been decommissioned later this decade.

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It comes alongside separate plans to include the wider site in the East Midlands Freeport bid, with the power station touted to become a “hub for green energy”.

The nearby East Midlands Parkway station has also been confirmed as a stop for the highly-awaited High Speed 2 railway line.

The incinerator, known as the East Midlands Energy Re-Generation (EMERGE) Centre, will burn almost 500,000 tonnes of waste a year, reduce landfill and generate enough energy to power 90,000 homes.

Nottingham City Council currently uses the EnviroEnergy waste incinerator to power roughly 5,000 homes around St Anns.

However, the Ratcliffe-on-Soar plans have led to concerns from numerous climate campaigners who fear the impact its burning waste could have on the environment.

A protest was held outside County Hall before the initial decision was made last June, with campaigners fearing the plans will lead to more fossil fuels being burnt.

Opponents also say the scheme produces significant amounts of carbon dioxide at a time when the UK has pledged to significantly reduce emissions by 2035.

But supporters say incineration is better for the climate because rubbish buried in landfills produces more of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

They add energy produced from incinerators provides a valuable, reliable and domestic energy source.

And Uniper, the company in control of the power station and the applicant behind the incinerator plans, says it will play an “important role” in reducing carbon emissions.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s planning and rights of way committee will meet on March 8 to discuss giving the incinerator full planning permission.

Councillor Richard Butler (Con), chairman of the committee, said in the meeting last year it is the “lesser of two unpleasant things”.

He said: “Whilst this application will create carbon – there is no getting away from it, there will be emissions – something has to be done with the waste and rubbish that can’t be recycled.

“This is probably the lesser of two unpleasant things to have to do.”

A Uniper spokesperson also previously said: “The proposed facility would play an important role in helping meet the UK’s ambitions to effectively and efficiently reduce waste and manage its impact on the environment, reducing CO2 emissions, and helping the East Midlands meet its landfill diversion targets.”

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