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Allerton Park incinerator ‘is only realistic option’
THE firm behind plans for a controversial £1.4 billion waste incinerator in the North Yorkshire countryside has stepped up its bid by saying the plant is the only “realistic” option on the table.
AmeyCespa is looking to build the Allerton Waste Recovery Park on a quarry site next to the A1(M) between York and Harrogate, a scheme which North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council say will hugely reduce their waste bills over the course of a 25-year deal.
It has been fiercely opposed by campaigners, who say the plant is out-of-date, too expensive and environmentally harmful. The Press reported last week how the county council’s own principal landscape architect had criticised the scheme.
But in a fresh statement to planners at the county council – which is set to make a decision on the incinerator by the end of the year – AmeyCespa has said the development was “essential” if North Yorkshire was to meet Government and European targets for waste disposal.
The document said of the 450,000 tonnes of waste collected by the two councils in 2011/12, the 240,000 tonnes sent to landfill was “unsustainable from an environmental, legislative and financial perspective”.
“Available landfill space is a finite resource and is becoming ever more limited – alternative waste management methods are required urgently,” said the statement, adding that the Allerton site would act as a “safety net” for separating recyclable materials caught up with other waste.
“The Allerton Waste Recovery Park is an important part of the plan to increase recycling and driving waste away from landfill. It is the only realistic way in which the councils can achieve combined recycling performance and therefore exceed the 2020 target [the year when at least half of household waste should be recycled or composted].”
AmeyCespa also said existing waste treatment sites elsewhere in Yorkshire would not have the capacity to take waste from York and North Yorkshire in future, and any new facilities – such as those planned in Leeds and Sheffield – would only accept local waste, meaning there was “a continued need for additional facilities, including Allerton Waste Recovery Park”.