Work on huge Rivenhall waste plant to start next year

The location of the waste plant

The location of the waste plant

First published in News

Building work on a controversial waste plant is due to start next year - five years after planning permission was granted.

Woodhouse Recycling and Renewables (WWRen) will be based at Rivenhall Airfield and deal with about 853,500 tonnes of municipal, commercial and industrial waste a year from Essex.

It will include:

* a mechanical biological treatment of non-recyclable waste to produce a solid recovered fuel

* a paper pulping plant

* a combined heat and power plant to burn solid recovered fuel to produce electricity, heat and steam.

* an anaerobic digestion plant treating organic waste

* a materials recycling facility to recover mixed dry recyclables such as paper and plastics.

Gent Fairhead, which owns the airfield, gained planning permission in 2010 and is setting up a site liaison committee for local councils and relevant organisations to discuss matters connected with the site.

* Full story in this week's Times.

Comments (8)

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6:33pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Caddy2735 says...

Get the A120 sorted out first you stupid PRATS! Lunatics have taken over the Assylum
Get the A120 sorted out first you stupid PRATS! Lunatics have taken over the Assylum Caddy2735
  • Score: 7

8:49pm Sat 2 Aug 14

James Abbott says...

The planning application stated up to 404 additional HGV movements on the A120 every day.

Madness.
The planning application stated up to 404 additional HGV movements on the A120 every day. Madness. James Abbott
  • Score: 6

10:22pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Parish says...

I agree Caddy the A|120 is a fiasco on most days. The junction where these vehicle will be turning in and out will be a nightmare. The Coggeshall by pass junction is a death trap. Unbelievably they want to build thousands of new homes in Braintree and Marks Tey. It takes 20 mins to get across Braintree and 20mins to get from Coggeshall to the A12 so what on earth will happen? I am afraid driving around North Essex will be a painfully slow experience. Hopefully Brooks Newmark can sort it all out but do not hold your breath! Listening to him on Newsnight wanting to send help to the rebels in Syria makes me think his interests are not concentrated in the right place!
I agree Caddy the A|120 is a fiasco on most days. The junction where these vehicle will be turning in and out will be a nightmare. The Coggeshall by pass junction is a death trap. Unbelievably they want to build thousands of new homes in Braintree and Marks Tey. It takes 20 mins to get across Braintree and 20mins to get from Coggeshall to the A12 so what on earth will happen? I am afraid driving around North Essex will be a painfully slow experience. Hopefully Brooks Newmark can sort it all out but do not hold your breath! Listening to him on Newsnight wanting to send help to the rebels in Syria makes me think his interests are not concentrated in the right place! Parish
  • Score: 4

9:51am Mon 4 Aug 14

Tattytate says...

Despite the best efforts of mr Abbott and others this just shows that the little man on the street realy has no say when it comes to big money and local councils!!!
Just out of interest is there any benefit to the local villages that will have to put up with the side effects of this plant ? Sadly I would guess not
Sold down the line ...... Yet again
Despite the best efforts of mr Abbott and others this just shows that the little man on the street realy has no say when it comes to big money and local councils!!! Just out of interest is there any benefit to the local villages that will have to put up with the side effects of this plant ? Sadly I would guess not Sold down the line ...... Yet again Tattytate
  • Score: 7

2:11pm Mon 4 Aug 14

keith_l says...

It is obvious to anybody who uses it that the A120 is inadequate now. To add several hundred HGV movements per day sounds like a recipe for disaster.

However, it is now too late. The opportunity to do something about this comes in the planning process.

If I remember correctly, Braintree District turned this down, and it went to appeal and then public enquiry, at which permission was granted. If this is the case then it is much harder to add planning considerations. In fact the report of the enquiry said that although there would be impact of traffic, it would not be significant.
It is obvious to anybody who uses it that the A120 is inadequate now. To add several hundred HGV movements per day sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, it is now too late. The opportunity to do something about this comes in the planning process. If I remember correctly, Braintree District turned this down, and it went to appeal and then public enquiry, at which permission was granted. If this is the case then it is much harder to add planning considerations. In fact the report of the enquiry said that although there would be impact of traffic, it would not be significant. keith_l
  • Score: 8

12:34am Tue 5 Aug 14

James Abbott says...

It does indeed show the influence of big money and big landowners - and this is but one example of that happening locally.

The story is a long one, but essentially we secured a planning inquiry in 2009 from the Government due to the scale of the plant proposed, after Tories on ECC voted the application through 4-3, but only on the casting vote of the planning committee chairman (ie he voted twice).

ECC did this when over 900 people had submitted individual letters of objection. There was one letter in support.

The inquiry resulted in the site getting planning consent. But there were over 60 conditions set down to be met.

The developers have apparently given the plant a name around recycling and renewables whereas in reality if they build what they have consent for, the plant will burn up to 1,000 tonnes of waste per day, which is not recycling and unless it is biomass being burned, not renewable energy either.

There is a lot of water to go under the bridge on this issue yet - quite literally. Questions include:

Where will he get the water for his paper pulping plant from - will he try to abstract water from the River Blackwater ?

How tall will the incinerator chimney be ? If higher than the 35m consented, there will need to be a new planning application. No incinerators in the UK have been licensed with chimneys that low for many years.

How will the A120 cope with up to 404 extra HGV movements per day ?

Will the developer try to vary the existing consent ? - he did try this a few years ago but failed. This suggested that at the time he could not build what he had consent for.

What will the plant burn ? Will waste be trucked from the ECC plant at Basildon ? This was the stated intention in the former PFI bid and we know ECC wants to burn processed residual household waste - instead of going for maximum recycling.

The biggest question locally is what affect the incinerator emissions will have on air quality. The planning inquiry took clear evidence that pollutants will rise - but the true impacts will only be known from the types of waste to be incinerated, chimney height, weather patterns. etc.
It does indeed show the influence of big money and big landowners - and this is but one example of that happening locally. The story is a long one, but essentially we secured a planning inquiry in 2009 from the Government due to the scale of the plant proposed, after Tories on ECC voted the application through 4-3, but only on the casting vote of the planning committee chairman (ie he voted twice). ECC did this when over 900 people had submitted individual letters of objection. There was one letter in support. The inquiry resulted in the site getting planning consent. But there were over 60 conditions set down to be met. The developers have apparently given the plant a name around recycling and renewables whereas in reality if they build what they have consent for, the plant will burn up to 1,000 tonnes of waste per day, which is not recycling and unless it is biomass being burned, not renewable energy either. There is a lot of water to go under the bridge on this issue yet - quite literally. Questions include: Where will he get the water for his paper pulping plant from - will he try to abstract water from the River Blackwater ? How tall will the incinerator chimney be ? If higher than the 35m consented, there will need to be a new planning application. No incinerators in the UK have been licensed with chimneys that low for many years. How will the A120 cope with up to 404 extra HGV movements per day ? Will the developer try to vary the existing consent ? - he did try this a few years ago but failed. This suggested that at the time he could not build what he had consent for. What will the plant burn ? Will waste be trucked from the ECC plant at Basildon ? This was the stated intention in the former PFI bid and we know ECC wants to burn processed residual household waste - instead of going for maximum recycling. The biggest question locally is what affect the incinerator emissions will have on air quality. The planning inquiry took clear evidence that pollutants will rise - but the true impacts will only be known from the types of waste to be incinerated, chimney height, weather patterns. etc. James Abbott
  • Score: 9

7:38am Tue 5 Aug 14

R Souls says...

Thank you Councillor Abbott for the background. Your efforts to represent the best interests of the community are appreciated. It is a shame that many other Councillors are working to different agendas.

Can you let me know if it is possible to get a list of who votes for what in the County Council decision making process? Would I have to make a FoI request?
Thank you Councillor Abbott for the background. Your efforts to represent the best interests of the community are appreciated. It is a shame that many other Councillors are working to different agendas. Can you let me know if it is possible to get a list of who votes for what in the County Council decision making process? Would I have to make a FoI request? R Souls
  • Score: 7

12:16pm Tue 5 Aug 14

James Abbott says...

Hello R Souls

Unfortunately names are not recorded for or against unless a "recorded vote" is called for which is fairly rare and at planning committee I don't think I have ever seen it used. However at the meeting in 2009 at County Hall when the application was forced through by the chairman when he voted twice, I was sat in the public gallery and believe it was only Conservatives who voted for it. It is a matter of record as to who was at the meeting and also what their party affiliations are.

It was a very strange vote - the debate went on for a long time and every councillor who spoke was against it or asking hard questions. Yet when the vote was taken many councillors who had said nothing stuck their hands up in favour. But even then the vote was 4-3 against. Then quick as a flash the chairman voted twice to make it 5-4.

It was never mentioned that the applicant/landowner was a Conservative councillor (based in London) and it was brushed aside that ECC had an interest in the site as the authority had a series of agreements with the same landowner and had been involved in outline commercial access discussions - plus the site was modelled in ECC's PFI bid to Government to take waste from the Basildon plant (now under construction) to be incinerated. Some of this info took several FoI requests to uncover.
Hello R Souls Unfortunately names are not recorded for or against unless a "recorded vote" is called for which is fairly rare and at planning committee I don't think I have ever seen it used. However at the meeting in 2009 at County Hall when the application was forced through by the chairman when he voted twice, I was sat in the public gallery and believe it was only Conservatives who voted for it. It is a matter of record as to who was at the meeting and also what their party affiliations are. It was a very strange vote - the debate went on for a long time and every councillor who spoke was against it or asking hard questions. Yet when the vote was taken many councillors who had said nothing stuck their hands up in favour. But even then the vote was 4-3 against. Then quick as a flash the chairman voted twice to make it 5-4. It was never mentioned that the applicant/landowner was a Conservative councillor (based in London) and it was brushed aside that ECC had an interest in the site as the authority had a series of agreements with the same landowner and had been involved in outline commercial access discussions - plus the site was modelled in ECC's PFI bid to Government to take waste from the Basildon plant (now under construction) to be incinerated. Some of this info took several FoI requests to uncover. James Abbott
  • Score: 5

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