Plans approved for Lancashire energy from waste plant

Plans have been approved for an energy from waste plant in Lancashire, in line with a recommendation from planners who advised that the scheme would provide electricity to power over 60,000 homes.

A visualisation of the development (pic: Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Ltd)
A visualisation of the development (pic: Suez Recycling and Recovery UK Ltd)

Blackburn Council last week granted full planning permission for the demolition of an existing waste transfer and materials recycling buildings and the construction of an energy from waste facility (EFW) with ancillary infrastructure and landscaping on the site at Lower Eccleshill Road, Darwen.

A planning report said the site, which covers seven hectares, is allocated as an established business and industrial area in the council’s adopted 2015 Blackburn with Darwen Borough Local Plan Part 2.

It is also an allocated site for large-scale waste management facilities in the council’s adopted Joint Minerals and Waste Local Plan.

Planners said the development would result "in a substantial building(s) occupying a large area of the site."

However, the report added, "given its siting in the wider context of the surroundings, appropriate separation between sensitive receptors such as residential properties or nearby commercial uses is achieved; thereby ensuring satisfactory levels of amenity".

Outlining the scheme’s benefits, the report said the proposal would deliver an energy from waste centre "that is designed to process waste and turn it into electricity for export to the local distribution network".

It said the site would process up to 500,000 tonnes of residual waste per annum "that would have otherwise gone to landfill", and would "generate enough sustainable electricity to power over 60,000 homes."

The report, which recommended approval, also advised that the scheme was "considered to promote a high quality design and working practises in waste management facilities" and was "satisfactory from a technical point of view, with all issues having been addressed through the application or capable of being controlled or mitigated through planning conditions and contributions".

In July, the former communities secretary James Brokenshire overruled a planning inspector and refused plans for an energy from waste plant in Hertfordshire, after concluding that the benefits of the scheme would not outweigh "significant adverse landscape and visual impacts" and traffic and road safety concerns.

In June, plans for an energy from waste facility in Swindon were approved on appeal after an inspector found that another site originally allocated for such a facility in the local plan was no longer available.

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