Harrogate Council strongly opposes Allerton Park Incinerator

Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee met on Tuesday 14 February 2012 and  decided to ‘strongly oppose’ plans to build the waste incinerator at Allerton Park.

The plans being proposed are to build a £250m waste processing facility near Allerton Park that would process black bag waste for the whole of North Yorkshire.

The main access would be from the A1/ A168 and the facility would produce 24 mega watts of electricity or enough to power 40,000 homes. Up to 80% of the waste would be incinerated. The power from the incinerator would be converted to electricity rather than using a CHP (combined heat and power) system as there is no adjacent industry to utilize a CHP plant.

Waste would be transported from all corners of the county, including additional vehicles coming through Harrogate from the Skipton/ Craven area.

The technology and lack of recycling at the proposed facility has been widely criticised. It would also effectively lock the county into that level of recycling for 25 years, although there would be more recycling at source.

Harrogate Council is a consultee on the planning application, with the final say being made by North Yorkshire County Council in July 2012.

Not a single member of the planning committee spoke in favour of the scheme; it was roundly criticised on financial, planning, environmental, heritage, landscape and health grounds. Several speakers expressed the view that the planning application should be called in by the Secretary of State and determined at an independent inquiry, among them North Yorkshire County Councillor John Watson, who also put a strongly worded case against the scheme on financial grounds.

Councillors voted 14 for, none against and one abstention to respond as a local stakeholder to North Yorkshire County Council that they raise strong objections to the planning application citing the following:

  • Contrary to Harrogate Borough Council’s core strategies and local plan policy
  • Adverse impact on Allerton Park both the buildings and the grounds
  • Mass and scale of the proposals
  • Concerns over highway issues
  • Adverse impact on the countryside
  • Need for an incinerator not been proven
  • Concern over toxic fumes
  • Information in the planning application is inadequate

At the planning meeting, Councillor Richard Cooper criticized the application in a number of areas including  for the lack of financial case and the a need for that facility that has not been proven.

Steve Wright NYWAG Chairman said: 

The importance of this decision to our campaign cannot be overstated: everyone involved in supporting campaign and especially those from the local parish councils and NYWAG members, who worked immensely hard to prepare the very detailed case against the application and who spoke at today’s meetings, deserve great credit for their efforts.

AmeyCespa are the main applicants for the facility and although not in attendance at the meeting provided a quote following the outcome.

Bill Jarvis, project director with AmeyCespa said:

Our proposals for Allerton Waste Recovery Park were recognised by Harrogate Borough Council’s officers as being in line with policy and meeting the community’s waste needs. It’s therefore surprising that individual councillors chose not to follow this expert advice.

A number of inaccurate comments and assumptions continue to be made about the proposals, including during the Harrogate Borough Council meeting, and we will continue to correct and address these during the current, ongoing planning process.

Allerton Waste Recovery Park is a major development, designed and sized to deal with North Yorkshire and York’s waste and to deliver cost savings to the authorities and taxpayers. Our proposals follow a rigorous, legal and competitive procurement process that considered a wide variety of waste management options. Through many tiers of scrutiny and consultation, we have also been able to evidence that Allerton Waste Recovery Park provides a cost effective, environmentally sound, technologically advanced and efficient solution for the management of waste for the North Yorkshire and City of York communities, contrary to opposing arguments.