CALLS for a developer to withdraw a planning appeal over controversial proposals for a waste burning energy plant have been made in parliament.

Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, raised the issue of the Consett incinerator in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Durham County Council rejected the application from Project Genesis to create the facility with a 164ft-high chimney stack on the former steelworks site last September.

Now the developer is hoping the decision will be overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Holden said he is supporting more than 3,500 people who objected to the scheme.

The Northern Echo: Richard Holden MP Richard Holden MP

Mr Holden said: “The planning permission for it to be built in Consett in my constituency was soundly rejected by Durham county councillors last year after thousands of local residents objected to the proposed plant on the Hownsgill industrial estate in the Delves Lane area.

“That movement was spearheaded by the unwavering hard work of a huge number of local people.

“It was a real community effort, however, and thousands of people were involved in pushing objections and leading lots of local groups.

“I have been blown away by the huge outpouring from local people, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, grandparents, residents, who have coalesced around an issue that they see as important for our local community.

“That has been incredible to see, and it has marked another occasion where hundreds of local people have come together and made me incredibly proud to be the Member of Parliament for North West Durham.

Read more: Memorial plaque in honour of Consett teacher David Jackson

“I am calling on the developer to withdraw its appeal, and instead respect the decisions of the democratically elected councillors and of my constituents.”

If it goes ahead, the energy plant would operate 24 hours a day, treating up to 60,000 tonnes of waste per year, with 22 HGV movements per weekday, creating nine full-time jobs.

Project Genesis said the £35 million scheme would burn waste to create renewable energy and prevent rubbish from being buried in landfill sites while generating cheap, environmentally friendly power.

The Northern Echo: Councillor Alex Watson Councillor Alex Watson

Durham County Councillor Alex Watson, who is a board member with Project Genesis, and is in favour of the scheme, said: “The reasons behind the refusal were aesthetic. It was nothing to do with health concerns.

“There is no danger to public health. It is an industrial estate and always has been.

“I don’t know where the public are coming from. There are no toxic emissions, no noise and no smells, it is just steam.

“It is a huge development for Consett and there are only benefits to it.

“It is a way to good deal with our waste. This is all about creating renewable energy.

“People want it to be dealt with elsewhere and that is shameful.”

Cllr Watson said he thought the appeal could be heard in June and would take several days.


Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054