EXCLUSIVE: The Planning Inspectorate has approved Cory Riverside Energy’s plans for an energy from waste (EfW) plant with the capacity to process more than 800,000 tonnes per year, based in Belvedere, south east London.
The plant will mean the construction of a second large EfW facility on the south bank of the river Thames for Cory. It will be developed alongside its existing facility which has a capacity of 750,000 tonnes of residual waste per year.
Alongside the EfW plant, an anaerobic digestion facility with an annual waste throughput of up to 40,000 tonnes per annum of green and food waste is also to be constructed, “enabling infrastructure for combined heat and power”.
This is thought to be significant as Greater London Authority specifically mentioned the lack of offtake of heat from the plant in its response to the consultation on the proposed facility. “For the avoidance of doubt, an EfW facility that generates electricity only is not acceptable; it must also capture heat,” the GLA said.
In a letter today (09 April) approving the proposals, seen by letsrecycle.com, the Planning Inspectorate said: “The secretary of state as the decision maker under s103 and s104 of the Planning Act 2008 has decided that development consent should be granted and therefore has made an order”.
“Given the national need for the development, the secretary of state does not believe that this is outweighed by the development’s potential adverse impacts”
In a separate notice detailing its reasons, the Inspectorate added: “The secretary of state considers that there is a compelling case for granting development consent. Given the national need for the development… the secretary of state does not believe that this is outweighed by the development’s potential adverse impacts”.
The plant was singled out for criticism by London mayor Sadiq Khan last year, who urged the government to reject the proposal as he said London doesn’t need another “archaic toxic polluting waste incinerator”.
This was criticised by the Environmental Services Association, which said the mayor was “ill-informed” (see letsrecycle.com story).
Mayor Khan’s concerns had echoed a previous London Mayor’s views, those of Ken Livingstone, who was strongly opposed to the first plant, which was officially opened by the Princess Royal in 2o12 (see letsrecycle.com story).
It is thought that the plant, which had an initial 2024 operational aim, would be the second largest in the UK after the Viridor-owned Runcorn plant, which recently extended its capacity to more than one million tonnes.
However, combined, the two plants will have the capacity to process around 1.5 million tonnes of residual waste a year, larger than the Runcorn plant and even more than the huge AEB plant in Amsterdam.
The decision comes two years after Cory Riverside Energy was sold to a consortium of investors (see letsrecycle.com story).