NORTHACRE Renewable Energy has announced that they intend to apply for permission to make amendments to their existing plans for a waste treatment plant, which includes an increase to the height of their main chimney.
The planned facility, owned by Northacre Renewable Energy – a company owned by Hills Group – was given planning permission in 2015 to build a gasification plant on land between the Northacre Resource Recovery Centre and Arla Dairies on Stephenson Road, just over a mile from Westbury town centre.
The original plans included a main 60m (200 foot) chimney. The amendments will see the height of the chimney increased to 75m (246 foot) in anticipation of requirements set by the Environment Agency.
Other amendments that will be made under section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, include an increase in the height of the buildings to incorporate a more efficient boiler system and to facilitate safe access around the boiler room and plant; the enclosing of the thermal plant to assist in year-round operations and maintenance; the separation of the waste reception building and the thermal building to comply with fire control standards; and one less turbine and bank of air cooled condensers making it a more efficient system.
Presenting the information at the Westbury Area Board meeting in December, Ed Dodd from Hills Group said, “Section 73 applications for variations to a project on this scale are part of the process and it is likely that through the three-year construction period that there will be others because it is a complex project and there are many moving parts. This is existing permission and we are looking to tweak this permission.”
The changes have been brought about following negotiations with their engineering procurement and construction contractor and emerging guidance from the Environment Agency on ‘Best Available Technique’ (BAT) for minimising emissions and impacts on the environment.
Northacre Renewable Energy intend to apply for an environmental permit to allow waste emissions to air under the Industrial Emissions Directive from the Environment Agency in the second quarter of 2018. The Environment Agency will assess their environmental permit application against Best Available Techniques (BAT).
The area board meeting was well attended by a number of residents concerned about airborne waste emissions from the plant, noise and the overall impact on recycling in the area. In response to the community concerns, Ed Dodd from Hills Group said, “This is better than landfill, better than sending the material to other countries at a tremendous financial cost and carbon cost. This is a reduction in carbon against coal and gas and it’s delivering genuine renewable power to the grid and locally.”
Westbury Town Council also intend to host a public meeting to provide an opportunity for the council and community to ask questions and to hear more about what the waste treatment plant is, and what the health implications are.
Representatives from Hills Group, the Environment Agency and Wiltshire Council have been invited to the public meeting.