£135m Keighley incinerator gets council approval

£135m Keighley incinerator gets council approval
A controversial £135-million West Yorkshire incinerator is set to receive the green light after being approved by Bradford’s council.

The incinerator, due to be constructed in the town of Keighley, was last week (9 February) approved by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee, which voted five-to-two in favour of the development.

The application submitted to the council by Endless Energy, a special company formed by the Halton Group to develop the plant, states that the facility will include two plants to recover energy from waste, with a waste bunker hall and an education and visitor centre.

These two plants will be used to create refuse-derived fuel (RDF), with an expected throughput of approximately 100,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste a year, and a waste plastics melting plant, which would treat around 30,000 tonnes of material annually through fractional depolymerisation. The application suggests that together the plants would generate 10-11 megawatts of electricity and 28.5 million litres of biofuel a year.

Plans to build the incinerator were originally given planning permission by the council in 2014, but a revised plan provided by the developer, reducing the number of plants from three to two – removing a tyre waste pyrolysis facility – and increasing its height by five metres, was refused in 2015.

The application predicts that the incinerator will provide 79 full-time jobs, as well as 300 temporary construction jobs.

Opposition to incinerator

More than 6,000 people signed an online petition against the proposals, citing concerns about pollution, noise and the visual impact the plant would make on the landscape. Keighley Town Council, the National Trust, which owns the nearby East Riddlesden Hall property, and local Conservative MP Philip Davies also petitioned Bradford’s council to refuse the planning permission.

Prior to the meeting, local campaign group Aire Valley Against Incineration protested outside the council’s city hall headquarters in surgical masks.

Reacting to the approval, Bradford Green Party spokesman Matt Edwards said: “This is bad news for the people living in the Aire Valley. There is already a crisis in air quality across Bradford district and this scheme is going to make things worse.”

The plans will now be sent to Sajid Javid, Local Government Secretary, who has the power to call in the decision for further examination.

The planning document approved by Bradford’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee can be seen on the council’s website.

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