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Developers say North Selby Mine green energy scheme will take waste from North Yorkshire
DEVELOPERS behind controversial plans for a £23.5 million green energy scheme near York say it will handle waste from North Yorkshire after opponents claimed most material would come from other areas.
More than 370 objections have been lodged and York Outer MP Julian Sturdy has spoken out in opposition to the scheme. The North Selby Mine Action Group, which opposes the plans, said documents submitted to the council by the applicants, Peel Environmental and North Selby Mine Waste Ltd, showed there was “insufficient local waste” to make the scheme viable, and waste would instead be transported to the plant from East Yorkshire, Leeds and Hull.
The group said this would pile pressure on local roads and “special circumstances” for allowing the development on Green Belt land had not been shown.
Peel Environmental said a “needs assessment” for the proposed plant showed there was enough organic waste “across a 50km radius” to support it, including material from York and North Yorkshire.
It said the development could fill the gap created by uncertainty over a waste incinerator at Allerton Park, between York and Knaresborough, after Government funding was withdrawn, and would create 56 permanent jobs as well as construction and seasonal roles.
Action group spokesman Tim Williams said: “We are questioning the sustainability of the project as there are already a number of facilities in the area which are unable to source enough feedstock in their locality to create truly low-carbon energy.
“Given the developers’ vague account of where the waste will actually come from, it is much more likely it will come from further away. Transporting waste over considerable distances will not generate low or zero-carbon energy, as it will require considerable amounts of fuel to get it to the site.
"Two of the founding principles of anaerobic digestion are that the facility must be sited very near to the fuel source and the energy created can be widely utilised. In this instance, we believe these principles cannot be met.”
Richard Barker, Peel Environmental’s development manager, said there were 74,000 tonnes of organic waste in the area the plant would serve from the commercial sector alone, saying: “It is possible our facility could accept household organic waste currently destined to be treated at Allerton Waste Recovery Park.
“No contracts have yet been secured for waste streams, but it makes commercial sense to source waste from as close to the site as possible. The facility would be capable of accepting up to 60,000 tonnes of organic waste per year, could produce carbon savings of more than 20,000 tonnes per year compared to sending the equivalent amount to landfill, and we do not accept the premise that principles of sustainability for the project will not be met.”
Mr Barker said the facility, if approved, would help meet Government renewable energy targets and could allow the creation of a bio-fertiliser market for use by local farmers.