A £70m energy from waste and recycling plant has received approval from Nottinghamshire County Council and is to be built in the East Midlands.
The Bilsthorpe Energy Centre project, which is to be constructed by Peel Environmental, will consist of a materials recovery unit to filter out 22,000 tonnes of recyclables every year, in addition to a gasification facility to convert around 95,000 tonnes of waste into electricity per year.
The by-product of the electricity generating process will be used as aggregate for highway construction.
Despite some opposition by residents in the area – some of whom set up an action group called Residents Against Gasification Experiment – Peel Environmental claim the project was welcomed in the area.
Nottingham’s Chamber of Commerce said the project would help create jobs and help economic recovery with an estimated £4.3m annual boost to the area. It is thought that that centre will provide 46 jobs and power 24,000 homes. 330 jobs are said to be created during the construction phase alone.
Councillor John Wilkinson, Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Planning Committee, said:“members have found the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre application an extremely challenging decision to make.
“However, our role is to carefully balance the evidence presented by the applicant and to consider these against national and local planning policy and guidelines. If an application is to be refused, we must have sound, material planning grounds to do so.
“Peel Environmental’s proposal gives Nottinghamshire the opportunity to be at the forefront of new ways to responsibly recover energy from rubbish and to stop burying it underground creating methane gas, a major contributor to greenhouse gas and global warming. It will create green electricity for over 10,000 homes and businesses and is a step forward in reducing our national reliance on imported coal and gas. It will also support district targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and create new jobs on an existing industrial site.
“In addition, around 15 per cent of the 117,000 tonnes of rubbish the plant receives will be recycled - rubbish that would otherwise have gone straight to landfill. And a further 23,000 tonnes of by product created by the electricity generating process will be used as aggregate to help construct new roads, reducing demand for mineral extraction at other sites across the county.”
“The construction and operation of the site will be monitored very closely and can only operate under license from the Environment Agency, providing strict safeguards to ensure the site is operated correctly and within stringent guidelines.”