Plymouth incinerator bosses must look for new bottom ash site
BOTTOM ash from the Plymouth incinerator will not be handled at a Buckfastleigh quarry, it has been confirmed.
The Planning Inspectorate has announced its decision to not allow the appeal made by MVV Environment Devonport Limited, which wanted to take the ash by lorry to Whitecleave Quarry in the South Hams.
MVV wanted to appeal against the decision by Devon County Council to refuse the company's application for an ash processing facility there.
MVV Environment is contractually bound to find a way to dispose up to 65,000 tonnes of bottom ash from the giant city incinerator every year for the next 25 years.
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Campaigners previously said they believed the firm had no alternative site earmarked - a claim denied by MVV managing director Paul Carey.
However, it appears likely that the bottom ash will now have to be taken out of the South West for processing.
Mr Carey said this morning: "We are disappointed with this outcome and will be reviewing the Inspector’s reasons for refusal before deciding whether there are grounds to challenge the decision.
"We will also be looking to find other sites where we can meet our obligations to recycle the incinerator bottom ash and use it in local markets.”
In August a spokesman for campaigners PlymWIN said: “If MVV’s planning appeal is turned down by the planning inspector, the German company has now admitted it has nowhere else to store or recycle the IBA, meaning it would be in breach of planning conditions.”
However, Mr Carey had dismissed the claim at the time.
“Part of the planning criteria is that we should try to recycle the IBA locally," he said.
“There are other sites in the UK but they are not in the south west.
“Hence why we want it as part of the application for Buckfastleigh.
“Worst case scenario is that we’d have to recycle IBA from Plymouth further afield, but landfill would never be an option.
“That part of the planning conditions is a ‘try do to’ obligation, not a ‘must do’. And we are trying to do it locally.
"We have not found alternative sites which are available locally. The landowners have to agree to it.
“We’re confident we’ll get permission to recycle at Buckfastleigh.”
Lynne Hayden, from PlymWIN, said: “This makes a mockery of Condition 8 of the planning agreement, which was meant to stop this eventuality happening.
“It really is Buckfastleigh or bust.”
Some 95 per cent of voters in a community poll in Buckfastleigh last year said they did not want the facility built, with a turnout of almost half the town.
German company MVV expects to have the 245,000-tonne plant operating by November 2014.
The building, with a 95-metre chimney stack, will burn up to 245,000 tonnes of rubbish a year and run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It will handle household rubbish from across Plymouth, South and West Devon, the South Hams, Teignbridge and Torbay, plus commercial and industrial waste.
Since the Chelson Meadow landfill site closed in 2007 Plymouth has been sending its waste to Lean Quarry near Liskeard.