A divisive plan to erect a 150,000 tonnes-per-year waste incinerator in Aberdeen has been voted through by the city council.
Aberdeen city council voted by 24 votes to 13 to conditionally approve planning for the £150 million East Tullos energy from waste plant – which will serve the disposal needs of North East Scotland.
The facility is to be jointly developed by Aberdeen, Moray and Aberdeenshire councils under a three-way Inter Authority Agreement reached at the end of 2015.
Household residual waste from all three councils will be brought to the site – located to the south of Aberdeen – when the plant is due to become operational in 2021 in time for the ban on Scottish councils sending biodegradable municipal waste to landfill.
According to the application, construction of the facility is due to begin in January 2019 with temporary employment for 150 people.
It is also expected to be combined heat and power (CHP) enabled to provide energy to households, businesses and council facilities.
The decision to approve the project follows a period of public engagement which included public events, stakeholder groups and a public hearing on 24 August this year.
However, the plant has come under scrutiny from some community members. David Fryer, secretary of the Torry community council, wrote to Aberdeen council prior to the vote arguing the proposal is ‘critically flawed’.
He wrote: “Even though other nations are moving away from incineration, there is still enough capacity across Britain that is leading to overcapacity in existing incinerators in Britain as well as Europe, and all at a time as new processes to address reuse and recycling are gathering apace.
The building of this incinerator at the foot of the Gramps can only make Torry and the south of the Dee areas a dumping groundDavid Fryer, secretary
Torry community council
“The building of this incinerator at the foot of the Gramps can only make Torry and the south of the Dee areas a dumping ground for municipal, commercial and possibly hazardous waste from across the North East of Scotland, and further afield.”
But councillor Ramsay Milne, Aberdeen city council planning development committee convener, claims the facility will allow the region to meet its statutory obligations and contribute to Scotland’s ‘Zero Waste’ ambitions.
He said: “We listened carefully to the concerns raised very cogently by South of the Dee community councils and other members of the local communities. However, the Energy from Waste facility is underpinned by proven and safe technology and has the potential to provide renewable energy to heat homes, businesses and public buildings, helping address fuel poverty and provide jobs in the area.
“The partnership model we have proposed will also mean significant savings in terms of investment in the facility, ensuring that the people of Aberdeen get best value for money.”