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Allerton Incinerator - Posted 20th Dec 2011

1112allerton.jpg - 17KbNorth Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council, in partnership with the Spanish Company AmeyCespa, are planning to build a waste incinerator on the site of an existing rubbish landfill operation at Allerton Quarry, North Yorkshire close to the junction of the A59 and A1(M). The location is 7 miles west of Moor Monkton. This facility will handle ALL the domestic waste produced by the people of North Yorkshire and York, about 250,000 tonnes per year, for 25 years from 2015. It is estimated that about 80% of it will be burned to produce electricity and district heating. The facility will generate 28MW of electricity of which 24MW will be left over to be fed into the ”grid• through underground cables to the nearby Coneythorpe substation.

Planning permission has not yet been granted (as at 20th Dec 2011), AmeyCespa submitted the application at the beginning of September 2011 and, after validation by planning officers, it is now available to the public. (Click here to see the full application).

After the initial plans were published, the company has spent a year in public consultation with numerous exhibitions and meetings. As a result of these the following amendments have been made to the plans:

1. The chimney height has been lowered by 10 metres.
2. Changes have been made to the building design.
3. The incinerator bottom ash processing facility has been incorporated into the main plant to avoid traffic crossing a bridleway.
4. Improvements to the access from the A168 have been made.
5. A visitor centre has been designed using adjacent, existing farm buildings.

The North Yorkshire Waste Action Group (NYWAG) has been set up by local residents and parish councils to argue the case against this development. They have put together 8 points which they believe show the plan to be a poor one. These have been listed below and, next to them, are AmeyCespa‘s counter arguments next to them. These have been gleaned from AmeyCespa‘s web site, the planning application and from correspondence with Allison Darling, Senior Marketing Manager at AmeyCespa.

NYWAG says...AmeyCespa says...
1.The incinerator will cause harm to the environment through its emissions. The plant‘s emissions will be constantly monitored and published daily on AmeyCespa‘s web site. The emissions will be within the Environment Agency‘s limits.
2.The plant is too big. It is designed to burn 320,000 tonnes pa. North Yorkshire currently produces about 250,000 tonnes pa of domestic waste and, with improved recycling, this should decline. The over-capacity can be explained by the plant also handling waste from shops, small businesses, offices and restaurants. This amounts to hundreds of thousands of tonnes pa and it all currently goes to landfill. The plant will only be able to handle a fraction of this.
3.The Government Waste Review says that incineration of waste has a place, but only for residual waste that cannot be recycled. The plant will be burning potentially recycleable material. Only materials that cannot be recycled in an economical or environmentally sustainable way will be used in the energy from waste facility and even these will produce construction aggregates from the bottom ash.
4.The plant will have a huge visual impact on the local area. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment thinks ”the plant responds well to its setting.•
5.The case for a single large site like Allerton Park has not been made. Waste from as far away as Scarborough and Skipton will travel by road to Allerton. There is no sizeable population centre nearby to make use of the heat generated by the plant. Allerton is close to the main road networks and close to the major waste producers of the area. Utilising the variety of waste technologies on one site presents a cost effective solution to waste management. Waste from all around the county is already transported to existing landfill sites at Allerton and Harewood Whin (Rufforth). We have explored the possibilities of heat take-off in the planning application.
6.There will be a big impact on climate change as Electricity-only incinerators produce 33% more carbon dioxide than a gas fired power station. Energy from waste incineration generates less carbon dioxide than coal and oil fired power stations which currently produce most of our electricity.
7.The NYCC has no approved waste strategy yet but building this plant will decide what the strategy must be for the next 25 years. This is the strategy of NYCC and does not concern AmeyCespa.
8.New waste management facilties have just been approved in Ferrybridge (800,000 tonnes pa) and have recently been commissioned at Darlington. Do we really need another one? Allerton is a local solution for local waste. The North Yorkshire PFI was subject to rigorous procurement process and AmeyCespa‘s was considered the best environmental and cost effective solution. Moving waste out-of-county would create extra costs in transport and infrastructure.
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