Inquiry to be held over decision on revised plans for gasification plant in Corby

A number of protests have been held in opposition to waste plants in Corby
A number of protests have been held in opposition to waste plants in Corby

An inquiry will be held after a decision on revised plans for a new gasification plant in Corby was called-in by the Secretary of State.

There had been strong opposition throughout the planning process for the scheme in Shelton Road on the Willowbrook East industrial estate in Corby.

But campaigners have welcomed the news that the Secretary of State has called-in the decision taken by the county council last September to approve revised plans for the scheme.

It is the latest development in the campaign which has been ongoing for more than a year.

Clean Power Properties Ltd already had planning permission to build an advanced conversion technology and anaerobic digestion facility in Shelton Road.

It then secured the go-ahead to amend the approved catchment area in 2015 and last September it was allowed to vary and delete some of the conditions included in the original scheme.

The key amendments to the consented scheme were the energy recovery centre remains an advanced conversion technology facility but the nature of the technology is changed from pyrolysis to gasification, it will treat predominantly pre-prepared fuels that have already been subject to a treatment process off-site, the facility will not treat food waste and the anaerobic digestion element of the scheme is omitted.

To accommodate the revised technology, the scale of the proposed building had to increase but they said it should generate less heavy goods vehicle trips than the previous scheme.

While the campaigners were unable to persuade the county council to refuse the revised plans last year, they have welcomed the news that the application has been referred to the Secretary of State instead of being dealt with by the local planning authority.

Cllr Rob McKellar, ward councillor for Weldon and Gretton, said: “I am extremely pleased that the Secretary of State has seen fit to call in the council’s decision over this unwanted gasification plant.

“The original application had some major inconsistencies with the Northamptonshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan, particularly in that the Local Plan discourages the movement of waste across county borders yet this gasification plant would increase such movements.

“Corby and its surrounding villages must never be allowed to become a dumping ground for the rest of the UK and we will all campaign hard to see the right outcome of the Secretary of State’s inquiry.”

Corby UKIP MEP Margot Parker also welcomed the news.

She said: “It is pleasing the views and feelings of local people have been considered and the Secretary of State has called in these plans.

“We must listen more to local people - I’m delighted in this case, their voice was heard.”

The date of the inquiry is not yet known.