New twist in plans for Rainworth incinerator

NMAC11-1819-1'PAIN celebration at Rainworth's Village Hall on Thursday evening.
NMAC11-1819-1'PAIN celebration at Rainworth's Village Hall on Thursday evening.

THE firm behind the recently rejected plans to build a controversial waste-burning incinerator at Rainworth has announced that it will be appealing against the decision.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles had turned down proposals by the waste management firm - Nottinghamshire County Council’s preferred company to build the energy recovery facility - at the former Rufford Colliery site amid fears it could harm the habitat of woodjar and skylarks and be an eyesore.

But on Monday, Veolia revealed it would be appealing against the rejection because it was ‘inconsistent’ with other decisions made for similar facilities.

Said regional director, Steve Mitchell: “The Government’s recent Waste Strategy confirmed that energy recovery will continue to be an important way in which to deal with municipal and commercial waste.

“It is therefore very important that all stakeholders are aware of exactly what the Government expects from companies like ours in the planning process and how best we can work positively through the planning process.

“In light of this it makes sense to establish clarity in the Government’s current waste and planning policy. We hope to achieve this through this appeal.”

But the move has angered anti-incinerator campaigners, who recently celebrated the Secretary of State’s decision.

Speaking on behalf of People Against Incineration (PAIN), Shlomo Dowen said: “Legal proceedings cannot make a bad proposal into a good one, it can only result in greater public expense.

“This is a distraction. Although we are not yet clear about the grounds of Veolia’s legal challenge, we are confident that the Planning Inspector was both thorough and fair.

“We expect the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse planning permission for an incinerator on this site will stand up to scrutiny.

“Our biggest concern is that legal proceedings will further delay the county’s waste management plans to greatly increase recycling. We are already seeing Mansfield District Council opting for an unambitious recycling target of just 39 per cent for this year.

“Our county council should help Mansfield and the other waste collecting authorities to increase recycling by sponsoring weekly food waste collections paid for out of the savings of money that would otherwise be spent on landfill tax.”

Nottinghamshire County Council chief executive Mick Burrows said he was aware of the latest twist in the long-running saga.

“This is a matter for Veolia, however we will await any further information on the grounds for challenge, and any subsequent decision, with interest,” he said.