MP urges North Yorkshire County Council to abandon £1.4bn Knaresbrough incinerator plan (From The Northern Echo)
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MP urges North Yorkshire County Council to abandon £1.4bn Knaresbrough incinerator plan
7:14pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
AN MP has called on a council to scrap its controversial £1.4bn incinerator scheme following changes to how the project is being funded.
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, urged North Yorkshire County Council to formally abandon its energy-from-waste project at Allerton Park, near Knaresborough, at a meeting of its executive on Tuesday (October 1).
The council’s leading members are set to consider whether to keep a range of options, including one to change the proposals and another to press ahead with the incinerator scheme waste firm AmeyCespa first submitted as a planning application in September 2011.
Earlier this month, a campaign group attempting to prevent the scheme led by Marton cum Grafton Parish Council, requested an oral hearing at the Court of Appeal, which is set to be heard in November, after losing a judicial review into the scheme.
The effect of the application for leave to appeal was to leave the scheme’s planning consent still subject to a challenge and AmeyCespa unable to secure planning permission within a two-year deadline set out in its contract with the county council.
In the event the contract is terminated due to no prospect of obtaining planning permission, the authority could become liable for a payment to AmeyCespa of £3m.
Mr Jones said following the launch of a wheeled bin recycling scheme in Harrogate district, the amount of household waste being recycled had soared, and there could be insufficient rubbish available to make the incinerator viable.
He said following the Government’s decision to withdraw £65m of funding for the scheme, following an analysis of incineration capacity in the area, it was clear the incinerator was no longer needed.
He said: ““Over time the fundamentals upon which that decision was underpinned have changed so dramatically that the coherent rationale no longer exists.
“It is not a weakness to recognise this, but a great strength, and a strength which the county council has shown on many other big projects.”
The authority’s leader, Bedale councillor John Weighell, said: “It is likely we will keep all options open, but that doesn’t mean we are thinking about pulling the project or going ahead with it.
“If we close the project down we would have to start again at look at a whole new way of disposing of waste and there is no new technology to provide an alternative.”
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