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Petition blow in Allerton Park incinerator fight
A 10,000-NAME petition opposing a £1.4 billion waste incinerator between York and Harrogate will not be considered when the plans go under the spotlight later this month.
The proposals for the Allerton Waste Recovery Park, next to the A1(M), will be debated by North Yorkshire County Council’s planning committee on October 30 and have been recommended for approval by planners.
The plant at Allerton Park Quarry would be operated by AmeyCespa through a 25-year contract with the county council and City of York Council, who say it would slash their waste bills and landfill tax payments. It would deal with up to 320,000 tonnes of rubbish a year and be able to heat more than 40,000 homes.
But opponents say the scheme is outdated, too expensive and will harm the environment and hit recycling rates. A report by Vicky Perkin, the county council’s head of planning services, has now said the authority cannot give “any weight” to a petition containing 10,000 signatures calling for the proposals to be blocked when they go before the committee, because it was handed in before the planning application was submitted.
The report said although it is “inevitable” the plant – whose chimney would be 70m high – will have an impact on the surrounding countryside and does not comply with some planning policies, this did not “outweigh the need for the development” and its “public benefits”.
“This is a controversial proposal of major scale and complexity,” it said.
“There is a clear and compelling need for the delivery of new infrastructure to enable the diversion of residual waste away from landfill. The renewable and low-carbon energy which would be generated is a substantial benefit of the proposal.”
AmeyCespa would be required to carry out conservation, repair and maintenance work in nearby Allerton Park and its gardens and draw up a plan for its future protection, pay the county council £839,500 to enhance and strengthen the local landscape, and contribute £128,791 for improvements at the A59/A168 junction.
Among the objectors are a group of nine local parish councils, as well as Harrogate Borough Council, Boroughbridge and Knaresborough Town Councils, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Friends of the Earth and North Yorkshire Waste Action Group. English Heritage, Natural England, the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are among the organisations which have not raised objections.