BIFFA has won its appeal against refusal of planning permission for an energy recovery facility in Leicestershire.
Jeff Rhodes, the company’s planning and permitting manager, said: “This is a really important decision for Biffa and for Leicestershire as the area currently has no long-term landfill diversion solution for waste. We believe that it makes no environmental or financial sense to put waste which we cannot recycle into landfill when the value inherent within it can be used to generate renewable energy.
“It is gratifying to see that the Secretary of State agreed and considered the reasons for approving it to be ‘substantial and compelling’.”
The plant, at Newhurst Quarry in Shepshed, will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes and divert 300,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.
Biffa originally submitted the planning application for the site in December 2009. Following consultation with Leicestershire County Council and English Heritage, the plans were amended prior to the appeal to include additional mitigation through tree planting in Garendon Park and restoration work to listed buildings in the park.
The inspectors report concluded: “The proposal would produce more power than all the permitted wind farms and sewage gas generating schemes in Leicestershire and considerably more than all the landfill gas generating stations. Even operating without CHP (combined heat and power) the proposal would result in a net carbon benefit of some 87,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum. This would represent a very large saving…larger than Leicestershire County Council’s own existing carbon footprint, the council being the county’s largest employer.”
Rhodes added: “Facilities like this are significantly reducing the amount of waste we put into landfill in the UK, whilst contributing significantly to reducing climate change and producing renewable and reliable energy.”