Viridor bids to up diesel storage at Beddington

Sutton council’s planning committee will meet this week (8 June) to consider a planning application for the addition of a diesel storage tank at Viridor’s Beddington energy from waste (EfW) facility.

If the expansion is approved, Viridor's Beddington EfW plant will have a capacity of 382,000 tonnes

A report made by Spencer Palmer, strategic director of environment, housing and neighbourhoods, which recommends granting the planning permission will go before the committee.

The planning application outlines a proposal for an addition of a steel diesel storage tank to the west of the EfW building. It would be sited on a reinforced concrete slab adjacent to an existing diesel tank, the report read.

The proposed extra tank will provide an additional 11,000 litres of diesel storage at the plant. This comes amid record-high prices in recent months.

Viridor explained that the fuel would be used for ‘furnace flame’, which starts up the facility before waste is processed.

It said: “The existing tank will be adapted to provide storage for ‘furnace flame’ fuel used for start-up purposes. The proposed fuel tank will store diesel fuel during plant start-up, when required, to maintain operating temperatures.”

According to the report, the tank would share drainage infrastructure to ensure that there is no harm to adjacent watercourses or adverse environmental impact.


The Beddington EfW treats residual waste from four South London councils known as South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) – Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton – as an alternative to landfill.

Viridor first applied to the Environment Agency to expand the capacity of the plant by a then 15% in December 2020 to 347,422 tonnes.

The company is also planning to further increase the capacity by 10% to 382,000 tonnes, which was met with “disappointment” from the SLWP (see story).


The report explained that Viridor has confirmed that the proposal “would not result in any material change in emissions and the facility will continue to operate within the parameters set by the existing permits”.

Additionally, the company said there is currently one diesel delivery per month for the existing tank and no change in delivery frequency to this tank is planned.

The report continued: “Mobile plant at the site will utilise approximately 4,300 litres of diesel per month and the proposed tank has a capacity of extra 11,000 litres. Therefore, a delivery for the new tank is expected once every 2 months, i.e., 6 extra deliveries per year”.

The report concluded that “the development would be acceptable in principle and would not have a detrimental impact on the openness of the ‘metropolitan open land’, would respect the local context of the site and would not result in significant harm to the character of the surrounding area or the ‘site of importance for nature conservation’”.

It added that “the development would not harm the amenity of nearby residential occupiers”.

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