Go-ahead for Corby incinerator after heritage and landscape concerns dismissed

Plans have been approved for an energy from waste facility on an industrial estate on the eastern edge of Corby, in line with a recommendation from planners who advised that the scheme would have "minor" negative impacts related to visual amenity and heritage assets.

A visualisation of the finished scheme (pic: Corby Limited)
A visualisation of the finished scheme (pic: Corby Limited)

Earlier this week, Northamptonshire County Council granted full planning consent for the plant on a 2.5-hectare site at the Willowbrook East Industrial Estate, Shelton Road.

A planning report, which recommended approval, said there "remains a capacity gap in relation to waste treatment capacity … and this development would contribute to reducing this".

It added that waste development at the proposed location would be in accordance with the spatial strategy in the 2017 Northamptonshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan (NMWLP). The site is also identified within the Rockingham Enterprise Area identified in the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (NNJCS) "which is intended to be a focus for employment development".

The report noted objections around "impacts on air quality, odour and health", but added that "there are no air quality, odour or health impacts that from a land use planning perspective which would preclude the construction and operation of this development at this particular location".

Elsewhere, the report noted that East Northamptonshire Council "strongly objects to the planning application on the grounds of the significant landscape and visual impact and resultant harm to heritage assets namely Kirby Hall (Grade I listed house and II* park and gardens) and Deene Park (Grade II)".

But the report advised that a landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA) found that the development would be "almost entirely screened from Kirby Hall other than possibly the last few metres of the stacks from the upper windows in the hall and part of the access road".

It added that Deene Park Hall "is not affected and the only view from the Grade II Park and Gardens would be from a public footpath near the edge of the park, where the Rockingham Speedway stands are already visible".

Planners concluded that the scheme would cause "minor detriment to visual amenity and the setting of the heritage assets" but added that this "minor negative aspect of the development … should carry little weight in the planning balance".

In November last year, Northamptonshire Council approved plans for a plastic recycling plant, despite concerns raised about air quality and opposition from the local MP.

In August this year, plans were 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.

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