Waste plan a possibility for former Bilsthorpe Colliery site

A RUBBISH disposal plant could be built in Bilsthorpe after owners of its former colliery site sealed a deal with a waste technology firm.

Landowners UK Coal confirmed an agreement with Peel Group on Monday to develop ‘energy from waste’ facilities on 11 sites including the village’s former colliery.

The surprise plans have been greeted with dismay and concern by residents who fear the village is being used as a regional ‘dumping ground’.

After a meeting on Monday, the joint venture with Peel was confirmed - which will lead to plans for an anaerobic digestion system, gasification facility, or other unspecified technology.

Executives refused to elaborate when asked whether an incinerator is also being considered.

Villager and retired miner Tony Hennings (54) is a UK Coal shareholder who heard about the plans in a letter and is opposed to them.

Bilsthorpe already has a full landfill site off Brail Wood Road.

“It’s a shame; we do not want to see any kind of incinerator or anything to do with waste,” said Mr Hennings.

“We’ve already got a rubbish tip; Bilsthorpe is getting used as a dumping ground for what other villages don’t want.

“We can only hope it will not be passed when it gets to planning.”

The former Gedling Colliery site is also on the list of 11 UK Coal sites subject to the plans.

Said Bilsthorpe Parish Council vice chairman, Colin McKay: “Until they make a more detailed plan and say exactly what it will be then we can’t really say much further.

“But there could be a whole lot more traffic in the village; we’ve had a landfill site there, which is now shut, but which brought in a whole lot more extra traffic.”

Bilsthorpe Colliery is held within UK Coal’s Harworth Estates portfolio. Peel Group’s environmental division, including Peel Environmental and Peel Holdings, will deliver the technology planned by the joint scheme.

Jonson Cox, chairman of UK Coal, said of the plan: “These sites have not been identified as suitable for alternative development uses.

“This represents part of UK Coal’s focus on simultaneously unlocking and developing the maximum value from its property portfolio.”

The 8.2-acre area subject to the plans has an £800,000 market value, according to UK Coal.

A Peel spokesman said no information was available on the possibility of an incinerator.

Myles Kitcher, director of Peel Environmental said: “The Bilsthorpe Colliery site is one of the sites which is being considered for waste infrastructure.

“However, no firm plans or decisions have been made yet.”

Any detailed plans will be subject to a full council planning application process.

Nottinghamshire County Council is preparing to launch a consultation on 22nd July about how it should deal with the county’s waste.

The council is running out of landfill space as it struggles to cope with disposing of more than four million tons of waste a year.

Veolia, Nottinghamshire County Council’s preferred partner to build an incinerator at Rainworth, said this week it will appeal against a Government rejection of the plan.

Southwell and Caunton county councillor Bruce Laughton told a Bilsthorpe Parish Council meeting last week he understood Peel had more interest in the Gedling site than in Bilsthorpe.

“They have rather got cold feet because of what happened in Rainworth,” he added.