Developers behind a new incinerator in Preston have outlined their desire to see it operating by 2023.Advertisement
Miller Turner have tabled proposals for the energy recovery facility on land at the Red Scar Industrial Estate.
The building is around the same size as Deepdale Stadium and would burn around 395,000 tonnes of residual waste each year.
During a tour of the site the planning director for the developers Paul Zanin explained why they had chosen the site.
He said: “The first thing we look at is the amount of fuel available.
“Lancashire, not just Preston, is sending a lot of waste to landfill.
“We think that’s a missed opportunity to create energy, as our plant would be able to.
“Our sums show there is certainly enough waste in Preston, Lancashire and the wider area to support a facility like this.”
There have been around 40 energy recovery facilities built in the last few years and Mr Zanin says they are preferable to landfill as they generate cheap energy by burning the waste.
Mr Zanin said: “This could be a real game-changer for the Red Scar estate and Preston as a whole.
“By burning the waste we create cheap electricity and through a private wire this can be hooked up to existing businesses within a 10-mile radius.
“This gives them access to cheaper energy and allows them to have a competitive environment.”
Mr Zanin said they had already had discussions with firms in the area around Red Scar who may look to use the cheap energy.
He said: “I can’t say who, and it’s not just about existing businesses.
“If you tell a firm we can give you a great central location and cheap energy then I think you’ll see new businesses wanting to locate to Preston. That’s great for the local economy.”
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The incinerator would be 120metres wide at its widest point, 174 metres long and 37 metres high.
The two-flume chimney would stand at 85metres and be visible from the M6.
Mr Zanin said: “We’ve made a lot of architectural choices with the building to locate it away from the line of sight and we’ve also sunk the boilers and the waste loading area is also sunken – so the lorries tip down into it.
“The chimney will be two smaller flumes, rather than one larger fat chimney.
“This looks better and will help with any emissions, which are tightly controlled and regulated.”
The site borders the Pope Lane nature reserve and Mr Zanin said Miller Turner are working to ensure no habitats are affected.
The cost of building the incinerator will be £200million, and Miller Turner will not operate it themselves.
Mr Zanin said: “We have already started talks with a number of potential operators.
“There’s a lot of interest because of the potential of the site and its central location.
“We did look at other locations in and around Preston but this was the best option.
“It’s also got existing planning use for industrial, so whatever is built here will be along those lines as that’s what is indicated in the local plans from councils.”
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The Longridge Road plant would have a visitor centre and run school trips to show youngsters the process.
Around 40 full-time jobs are due to be created, along with three apprentice roles.
During construction around 500 trade jobs are expected to be needed.
It would be a windfall for the council, with business rates of an estimated £1.3million-a-year due to the size of the site.
The Longridge Road scheme has applied for permission to be generating electricity 24-hours-a-day but deliveries of waste to the site would be from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday and from 7am to 1pm on Saturdays.
The majority of the deliveries are expected to be from within Lancashire, and an estimated 93 HGV trips per weekday to the site.
Mr Zanin said: “Because of the Junction 31A it means any lorry accessing the site would come in off the motorway and not using a residential route.
“That’s incredibly attractive for a site like this.
“Yes there’s no option to come off southbound but we would have stipulations to say lorries must come off at Junction 31 and then come back north – rather than come off at Junction 32. That makes sense for a lorry anyway rather than trying to use residential routes.”
Miller Turner say they have received questions from campaigners who are against the incinerator.
Mr Zanin said: “One of the big queries is around odours.
“There are existing sites here on Red Scar but they do some waste sorting out in the open.
“With an energy waste plant it is all enclosed, so the only time the doors open is for a lorry to come in and dump waste.
“And because of the way it is facing, and with the enclosed nature, it means noise is kept to a minimum as well.
“Once planning is achieved, we would have to apply for environmental permits too.
“Energy recovery plants are highly regulated. The Environment Agency impose strict conditions and you find these plants don’t operate anywhere near their limits – they leave some distance to those.”
Miller Turner have applied to Lancashire County Council’s development control committee for planning permission.
The county council decide on any waste-related planning applications rather than the city council.
Mr Zanin said: “We hope to secure permission this Autumn, and then we’ll have all the contracts in place and be starting work during 2020 and into 2021.
“It will take around two years to build so that would take us to 2023 for it to be operational.”
A campaign group against the development have queried by some households have not been told.
Twitter account Residents Against Longridge Rd Energy Centre tweeted saying letters had not been received.
The county council is currently running the official consultation on the Longridge Road plans.
The county council responded to the group and gave them the link to the online consultation.
Mr Zanin, when approached for comment by Blog Preston, said in response to the tweet: “Miller Turner ran an extensive public consultation with local people ahead of submitting our planning application earlier this year. This included sending notification of our consultation to 5575 properties in the surrounding area and press releases to local media, launching a consultation website, and hosting two public drop-in events in the area, a freepost address and freephone line and consultation email address.
“We have also met with community representatives who contacted
us, on site.
“Longridge Road Energy Centre will reduce carbon equivalent emissions by the equivalent of taking
28,500 cars off the road each year, will reduce landfill and provide green energy and create and encourage new jobs to come to the area. We have actively sought to provide information on our
plans and ask people to comment.”
Consultation is running on the plans for Red Scar, you can see the full planning application on the county council website and leave comments there.