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Fury as North Yorkshire waste plant is backed
A HUGELY controversial £1.4bn waste park and incinerator to deal with the rubbish created by nearly three quarters of a million people was tonight (Tuesday, October 30) given the go ahead by councillors.
Furious campaigners who turned out to object are now calling on the Secretary of State to call in the application so a public inquiry can be held.
They say the site at Allerton Park, alongside the A1 near Knaresborough, is too big, too expensive and environmentally unsustainable.
North Yorkshire County Council’s Planning Committee made the decision tonight after years of debate, thousands of objections and an eight hour meeting.
The site will deal with up to 320,000 tonnes of rubbish a year from across North Yorkshire, taking it from existing outdated landfill sites.
Developers AmeyCespa already have a 25 year contract with North Yorkshire County Council and York City Council to treat the county's waste.
They say it uses state of the art technology and will save money, including landfill taxes, generate electricity, help meet recycling targets and could heat nearby homes.
Paul Schofield of North Yorkshire Waste Action Group said after the meeting they were not surprised by the decision, but they were appalled.
“The county council has already agreed a contract with the applicant, we didn’t expect anything else. We have been lobbying our MPs and the Secretary of State must now call this in.
"It was a party political decision made by a bunch of dinosaurs who will not even have to pay for it, it is a generation unborn who will have to pay for this totally unnecessary blot on the landscape.”
Planning Committee chairman Coun Peter Sowray said: "Someone has to do it, I am satisfied this is the right technology in the correct place.
"I am happy with the design, wherever it is the local people are going to object, but on balance I support it."
Coun Bill Hoult warned: "I have severe reservations about this, what is the urgency? I understand it is the government's need to meet EU directives, but to commit ourselves to something for 25 years when recycling rates are going up all the time, you are locking us into something which is totally inflexible.”
But Coun David Blades told the committee: "We are a throwaway society, and at the moment all that is going into landfill, it is time to grasp the nettle, this is only going to get worse, we have to support this.”
The recommendation was approved by nine votes to two.
AmeyCespa released a statement after the meeting, saying it is prepared to provide information to the government, should it decide to review the planning decision.
Bill Jarvis, project director forthe firm, said: "The new facility is a common sense solution for dealing with North Yorkshire and York’s waste and will save local taxpayers millions of pounds.
“We aim to begin construction of the new facility in 2013, with it starting to process waste in 2015.
"During this time, we remain committed to working with the local community, involving them in our proposals and answering any questions they may have.”