Eric Pickles has decided to call in a Nottinghamshire energy from waste power plant just a month after it was granted planning permission by the local authority.
The Communities secretary told Nottinghamshire County Council not to complete the application for Peel Environmental’s Bilsthorpe Energy Centre so he could examine the plans following their approval by the planning committee on 18 November.
In opting to call in the scheme, Pickles has told the council he will particularly consider its conformity with the National Planning Policy for Waste, the National Waste Management Plan for England and the National Planning Policy Framework.
Chair of the council’s planning and licensing committee John Wilkinson said: “I am surprised at the decision to call in the application, and disappointed that no reasons have been stated in the letter we received from the Secretary of State today.
“The decision to grant consent was a very difficult one, in the face of a lot of concern from the local community, including politicians from all parties. But for a planning application to be refused, there needs to be sound, material planning reasons for doing so. The application was examined in great detail by professional planning officers and the committee, who came to the same view that no such grounds existed.
“The national planning guidance we applied to the decision – the Government’s own requirements on matters to consider for applications of this type – couldn’t have been more up-to-date, having only been published five days prior to our meeting,” the councilor added.
The proposed plant features a materials recovery facility that would filter out 22,000 tonnes of recyclables annually and a gasification facility to turn 95,000 tonnes of waste into electricity.
When Mr Pickles said he would examine the scheme last month, Peel development manager Richard Barker said: “Over the past two years we have worked hard to develop an application that carefully considered all aspects of the Energy Centre.
“Delivering the Bilsthorpe Energy Centre will not only help divert waste from landfill and widen the sources from which we get our energy - it will also create new jobs, supply chain opportunities and boost the local economy by around £4.3m per year.”