Treatment plant on verge of approval

Backers of a state-of-the-art waste treatment plant on the edge of Norwich hope construction could start next year, if the scheme clears planning hurdles.

Backers of a state-of-the-art waste treatment plant on the edge of Norwich hope construction could start next year, if the scheme clears planning hurdles.

A planning application for the mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility in Costessey has been lodged with South Norfolk Council and will be considered by councillors on August 21.

The scheme won backing from the county council as an alternative to a controversial incinerator to treat 150,000 tonnes of Norfolk's residual waste instead of burying it to landfill sites.

If given the go-ahead, the new plant will be built alongside the existing Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (NEWS) recycling facility on the Longwater Industrial Estate.

The two plants will form a resource recovery park and become a centre of excellence for waste treatment that will be viewed as a benchmark facility in the UK and beyond.

The project will take general waste from homes in Norfolk and process it using an advanced MBT process, which has the potential to recycle an extra 27pc of the residual waste currently sent to landfill.

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It could also recover methane gas which can be used to generate electricity, and produce material that could be used to improve contaminated land or restore landfill sites.

SRM claims it would be a clean, safe, environmentally friendly and technologically advanced facility, with no incinerator or chimneys and no harmful by-products or pollutants.

A spokesman for SRM said: “We are delighted that the planning application for the mechanical biological treatment facility has been submitted and with the existing Costessey recycling facility will form part of the overall proposal for the Costessey Resource Recovery Park. This is a major milestone on the way to completing our negotiations with Norfolk County Council for their residual waste treatment contract A.”

“We hope to start construction in early spring 2008. In the meantime, we will continue to engage positively with both the public and official bodies alike in order to achieve smooth progress through the planning process”.

Rachel Jackson, the clerk at Costessey Parish Council, said the exhibitions hosted by SRM over the past few months had received positive comments from the community.

She said: “The feeling within the parish was that they were very supportive of the proposal.

“I understand the design which received the most public admiration during that process was the one which has been submitted.

“I think generally people in Costessey are pleased with the company and how open they are about what they are doing.

“Clearly the plan is out for public consultation and it is now an opportunity for anybody who has got concerns to raise them.”

t Members of Norfolk Against Landfill and Incineration (NAIL2) will be holding an AGM on September 5, at 7.30 pm. The venue is yet to be confirmed, but representatives of SRM will be present to give an update on the MBT plant.

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