Plans to build a major new energy recovery facility to replace the Edmonton EcoPark in north London received backing from the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) today (24 February).
The Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark, issued a development consent order (DCO) for the proposals after a lengthy scrutiny of the plans by the Planning Inspectorate.
A DCO is awarded to any development classified as a nationally significant infrastructure project, and is intended to speed up and simplify the planning process.
The planned new plant will cost an estimated £450-500 million, will have the capacity to treat up to 700,000 tonnes per year of waste, with the Authority also planning to use heat from the facility through a district heating network.
Commenting on the award of the DCO Councillor Clyde Loakes, Chair of NLWA, said: “I am delighted that the Secretary of State has granted the DCO for a new energy recovery facility. This puts the Authority in the best possible position to consider the scheme in the round and secures the best way of managing north London’s non-recyclable waste long term.”
In its scrutiny of the proposals the Planning Inspectorate claimed that there were a ‘limited number’ of adverse impacts arising from the development, including that the ERF would be larger and more prominent than the existing plant it will be replacing.
“I am delighted that the Secretary of State has granted the DCO for a new energy recovery facility. This puts the Authority in the best possible position to consider the scheme in the round and secures the best way of managing north London’s non-recyclable waste long term.”
Cllr Clyde Loakes
The Planning Inspectorate concluded in its report: “In coming to an overall conclusion about the case for development consent, in my view this is a thorough and well prepared application which is compliant with the policy requirements of the NPSs [National Policy Statements]. Balancing those adverse impacts of the proposed development against the need for the project to be delivered and other benefits, I conclude there is a clear justification in favour of granting development consent for the NLHPP [North London Heat and Power Plant].”
The Authority will now work to develop a strategy for delivering the scheme over the forthcoming months. Following the development of the strategy, construction preparation work could start in 2019. The existing plant would be decommissioned and demolished once the new facility is up and running by 2028, NLWA has said.
The Edmonton site has housed the existing 550,000 tonnes-per-year capacity energy-from-waste plant since the early 1970s, which is due to reach the end of its operational life in 2025.
The facility treats residual waste on behalf of the Authority’s six members, the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Hackney, Enfield and Islington.
NLWA claims that the new facility will be ‘unrivalled’ in its approach to tackling emissions and has been designed to make it fit with the surrounding area.
The plant has a ‘shrink wrap’ design and shape to keep height to a minimum while the shape of the chimney stack will lessen its visual impact, NLWA claims.
The proposals also include a Visitors’ Centre and a household waste recycling centre for the public and businesses.