A controversial multi-million pound plan for a waste incinerator at Allerton Park is back on the agenda, despite the Government pulling funding for the scheme.
North Yorkshire County Councillors will consider giving the final go-ahead for the waste plant this month.
Last February’s decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to axe £65m of private finance initiative (PFI) credit for the Allerton Park project was thought to have thrown the project into turmoil.
But next week North Yorkshire County Council’s executive will discuss the plans and are expected to pass the final decision to the full council.
Plans for the £250m Allerton Waste Recovery Park, near the A1, have been the subject of fierce opposition from campaigners, who say a 25-year management contract awarded to private company AmeyCespa is too rigid as new technology could be developed that would supersede the site’s incinerator.
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones has blasted the plans and said if councillors vote to go ahead it will represent a ‘poor decision.’ He said: “Councillors will be locking our area in to an expensive and unnecessary project. Recycling is increasing; waste going to landfill is decreasing – we are going in the right direction. Burning our waste is the wrong call.
“Instead, we should be viewing waste as a resource and investing in re-using and recycling it. Incineration is already an old technology. There are other ways of dealing with waste. I hope that sense prevails.”
The facility, at Allerton Park near Knaresborough, would dispose of non-recycled household waste and a small amount of commercial and industrial waste either mechanically, biologically or in an energy for waste plant.
Coun Don Mackenzie (Con, Harrogate Saltergate) sits on the executive. He said though the decision was initially delegated to the executive, committee members have decided it needs to be taken by the full council.
He said: “I accept that the decision is a very significant one not to be taken lightly. On the other hand, the problem of dealing with the county’s waste is also a big challenge and one which will require substantial investment in order to dispose of it properly. We cannot continue to bury our rubbish in the ground.
“I am persuaded that the facility will give the residents and taxpayers of North Yorkshire, a cost-effective and reliable means of dealing with waste. I am intending to support the recommendation in the report.”
Full council will meet to discuss the plans on September 24 after the proposals go before the executive on September 9.