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Conservationists back Allerton Park incinerator plans
AN INFLUENTIAL organisation which protects the UK’s historic landmarks has backed controversial plans for a £1.4 billion waste incinerator near a North Yorkshire stately home.
North Yorkshire County Council is expected to make a decision on whether the Allerton Waste Recovery Park can be built in countryside between York and Harrogate later this year, with the proposals by AmeyCespa having come in for fierce opposition.
The project is a joint initiative between the county council and City of York Council . The councils say it will dramatically reduce their landfill tax bills by treating up to 320,000 tonnes of rubbish a year and will be at the centre of a 25-year waste management strategy.
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition protesting against the Allerton quarry scheme, saying it would be too expensive and is not environmentally-friendly.
However, English Heritage – which was consulted on the plans due to the proximity of the 19th century Allerton Castle and its listed chapel and Temple of Victory – has now said it has no objections to the incinerator after receiving assurances that conservation work will be carried out to protect the area’s heritage assets.
In a letter to the county council’s planning department, Neil Redfern, English Heritage’s team leader for Yorkshire and the Humber, said the plant would have an “adverse impact” on Allerton Castle’s heritage, but any harm caused would be “less than substantial”.
He said the development would “impact on the significance of the Temple”, but this had been reduced by altering the original height and design of the waste facility and English Heritage was satisfied with AmeyCespa’s pledge to “offset the adverse effects of this proposal”.
“English Heritage welcomes the proposed conservation works set out in the environmental statement [by AmeyCespa] as a means of enhancing and better revealing the setting and significance of the heritage assets associated with Allerton Park,” said Mr Redfern’s letter.
Although York councillors have raised no concerns about the incinerator plans, Harrogate Borough Council has objected. The North Yorkshire Waste Action Group and York Residents Against Incineration are campaigning against the plant. The county council said the proposals will be considered within months.