Regional plan prevails on waste recycling plant

An energy-from-waste plant has been approved in Derby after an inspector found that it complies with regional strategy requirements.

The scheme comprised a reception and recycling hall, mechanical biological treatment, advanced conversion technology, power generation and export facilities and an education centre. It was designed to process 200,000 tonnes of waste a year and export 8.7MW of electricity. The case was redetermined after the appellants overturned the original appeal refusal in a High Court challenge.

The inspector gave much greater weight to the waste management policy in the regional strategy than to a waste local plan adopted several years earlier. He concluded that the proposal met the strategy's requirement for a centralised facility in this part of the region. He found no evidence to suggest that it was larger than needed to deal with waste arisings from Derby and Derbyshire.

In his view, the development was well designed, would not adversely affect the amenities of nearby residents through visual intrusion and would not harm safety or traffic flow on local roads. The scheme would ensure that a contaminated site was responsibly cleaned up and would also offer employment and education opportunities, he noted. Local anxieties over air quality were based on perception rather than proven evidence, he suggested.

Inspector: Alan Robinson; Inquiry

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