Green light for £23.5m renewable energy plant at North Selby Mine site

Green light for £23.5m renewable energy plant

Green light for £23.5m renewable energy plant

First published in News
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A MASSIVE £23.5 million renewable energy plant on a former mine site on York's southern edge has been approved after the government decided not to put it through a public inquiry.

Controversial plans for a anaerobic waste digestion plant and horticultural glasshouse on green belt land between Escrick, Wheldrake and Deighton attracted hundreds of objections when were first put forward in 2012.

But now the future of the scheme - said to be worth £2.2 million a year to the local economy - looks secure after a government announcement that City of York council's planning approval can stand.

The North Selby Mine Action Group which formed the fight the plans and chairman Tim Williams said the approval came as a shock to the group.

He said: "We are very disappointed at this outcome, and all I can say at the moment is that we are currently evaluating our options."

Mr Williams added: "Our expectation was that the Secretary of State was going to call it in, and prevent the council from making a decision. But for whatever reason, that has been rescinded."

York MP Julian Sturdy and Selby MP Nigel Adams have both spoken against the plans, and yesterday Mr Sturdy pledged to carry on a battle against the project.

He said: "It is abundantly clear to my constituents and I that this application does not qualify for the special circumstances necessary to allow for a development of this nature on greenbelt land, and it is very concerning that these are not being upheld by City of York Council.

"Over the coming weeks and months I will continue to work with local residents as well as ward Cllr George Barton, as we persist in challenging this application through all available avenues."

York councillors first approved the scheme in April last year, but their decision was overturned thanks to a legal challenge by campaigners.

It was approved again in January this year, but in early April the government stopped the council issuing a formal decision, throwing more doubt on the project's future.

But the government has now written to the council confirming it will not fully investigate the plans, and planning approval has been officially granted.

The plant will bring 68 full time jobs to the area, according to developers Peel Environmental, as well as 16 extra jobs during the commissioning period and 125 construction jobs.

The company's development manager Richard Barker said:

“We are obviously pleased about the decision by the Secretary of State not to call in the application, which brings us closer to delivering the Anaerobic Digestion facility and Horticultural Glasshouse at the former North Selby Mine site.

“The project represents a multi-million pound investment into the local economy, it will create jobs and deliver 20,000 tonnes of carbon savings each year by producing renewable energy.”

The North Selby Mine was one of five satellite sites from the Selby Mine Complex, and stopped producing coal in 1999. The news of its redevelopment comes just weeks after nearby Kellingley Colliery, the only remaining deep pit mine in North Yorkshire, announced its closure with the imminent loss of 700 jobs.

Comments (7)

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9:46am Thu 1 May 14

pedalling paul says...

Reminds me of the residents of a onetime mining town called Normanton....yes the one in West Yorkshire. The presence of the M62 undoubtedly attracted a lot of Leeds commuters to the area, and they objected to an international rail freight depot at nearby Altofts. Needless to say the depot scheme went ahead and brought new prosperity to the area.
Reminds me of the residents of a onetime mining town called Normanton....yes the one in West Yorkshire. The presence of the M62 undoubtedly attracted a lot of Leeds commuters to the area, and they objected to an international rail freight depot at nearby Altofts. Needless to say the depot scheme went ahead and brought new prosperity to the area. pedalling paul
  • Score: 14

10:42am Thu 1 May 14

BL2 says...

I'm glad it's gone through, but it should still have been put to the public first.
I'm glad it's gone through, but it should still have been put to the public first. BL2
  • Score: 5

12:58pm Thu 1 May 14

imassey says...

Just my opinion but the sooner people wake up to the fact that we need to use more renewable energy, the better it will be.

These things have to go somewhere.
Just my opinion but the sooner people wake up to the fact that we need to use more renewable energy, the better it will be. These things have to go somewhere. imassey
  • Score: 14

4:31pm Thu 1 May 14

Pinza-C55 says...

I honestly can't see what the problem is. If you look at the site on Google Earth it is well away from any houses, and 68 jobs are worth having. Get it built.
I honestly can't see what the problem is. If you look at the site on Google Earth it is well away from any houses, and 68 jobs are worth having. Get it built. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 10

5:08pm Thu 1 May 14

bloodaxe says...

Green energy ? Yes please but, er, not here. New housing ? Absolutely essential but, er, somewhere else. How anyone could seriously object to a green energy low-rise plant on a former industrial site over one mile from either Escrick or Deighton ( check this on OS) beats me. This is symptomatic of our inability to put new infrastructure down in case someone (usually the well- heeled) objects.
Green energy ? Yes please but, er, not here. New housing ? Absolutely essential but, er, somewhere else. How anyone could seriously object to a green energy low-rise plant on a former industrial site over one mile from either Escrick or Deighton ( check this on OS) beats me. This is symptomatic of our inability to put new infrastructure down in case someone (usually the well- heeled) objects. bloodaxe
  • Score: 5

8:34am Fri 2 May 14

dj4 says...

I think this is good news for the area and I say that as someone living in Wheldrake with no connection to the project or the protest. It seems to me that this will redevelop the site, bring investment and skilled jobs for young people. You can't be having public enquiries every time there is a plan to redevelop a brownfield site. It used to be a coal mine for goodness sake! Those objecting are the classic retired NIMBYs worried about their house prices. Of course, they dress this up in high sounding comments about the environment etc. which don't bear close scrutiny. I think that this is wholly selfish and irresponsible, and also I do not think it will be borne out by reality.
I think this is good news for the area and I say that as someone living in Wheldrake with no connection to the project or the protest. It seems to me that this will redevelop the site, bring investment and skilled jobs for young people. You can't be having public enquiries every time there is a plan to redevelop a brownfield site. It used to be a coal mine for goodness sake! Those objecting are the classic retired NIMBYs worried about their house prices. Of course, they dress this up in high sounding comments about the environment etc. which don't bear close scrutiny. I think that this is wholly selfish and irresponsible, and also I do not think it will be borne out by reality. dj4
  • Score: -1

10:53pm Sun 25 May 14

gwen4me says...

When the mine was first mooted they didn`t want it called escrick mine, that would have lowered the tone of their village something chronic
When the mine was first mooted they didn`t want it called escrick mine, that would have lowered the tone of their village something chronic gwen4me
  • Score: 0

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