12 January 2001

Southampton efw plant clears planning hurdles

Final planning hurdles for the second of Hampshire’s three proposed energy from waste plants have been cleared.

The Government Office for the South East said today that the Deputy Prime Minister had decided not to call in Hampshire County Council’s approval of plans for an energy from waste plant at Marchwood, Southampton.

Last month the council approved the planning operation from Onyx’s Hampshire Waste under Project Integra.

The state of the art plant, housed in an aluminium clad dome and set in an industrial area at Marchwood Industrial Park, has, says the contractor, received “unexpected but welcome support for its innovative design from the local community during public consultations, and has also been endorsed by local councillors.”

The 36 metre high dome will house all the equipment of the plant under its 110 metre diameter, with two chimneys rising from its centre to a height of 65 metres – making it smaller in height than the previous power station on the site.

Forming an important part of the integrated waste strategy for the county in disposing of those materials left over once re-use and recycling has taken place, the 165,000 tonne facility is designed to serve the needs of West Hampshire. It will have the capability of generating in excess of 14 MW of electricity from the process. Supplied to the Grid, this will power more than 14,000 local homes.

Welcoming the county’s approval, John Collis, project director at Hampshire Waste said, “We are delighted with this common sense decision which has weighed the facts and the views of all interested parties and been based on planning considerations rather than party politics.

“It was very helpful to have previously received authorisation from the Environment Agency, giving a clear steer on an issue that we know is close to local people, that the plant will be safe.

“We will now proceed with the development of the final engineering designs. The build and commissioning programme is expected to span a period of 34 months, once the contractors have been instructed to proceed.”

The positive determination gives Hampshire Waste planning consent for two of the three plants it has planned to serve the waste disposal needs of Hampshire. Construction work is underway already on a plant at Chineham near Basingstoke.

But, the Deputy PM still has some tricky decisions on efw plants ahead, including one in Hampshire.

Soon he will have to say whether or not he is going to allow London’s Edmonton plant to expand. And, there is also a tricky decision to make over whether or not the Portsmouth incinerator in Hampshire, refused permission so far, should be given the go-ahead on appeal.

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