Fresh Planning Bid For Arc21’s Energy From Waste Facility

The proposed project would take 300,000 tonnes a year of residual waste from arc21

Environmental information has been submitted in a fresh planning approval bid for a £300m energy from waste (EfW) development near Mallusk, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. 

The proposed development is designed to deal with waste from a significant portion of the population and includes a Mechanical and Biological Treatment facility, an Energy from Waste Thermal Treatment facility, an Incinerator Bottom Ash Treatment facility, a Refuse Derived Fuel Bale Storage building and an Administration/Visitor Centre.

The proposed project would take 300,000 tonnes a year of residual waste from arc21, an umbrella waste management group for 6 councils in the east of Northern Ireland and the procuring authority for this project.

The proposed infrastructure aims to “complement existing recycling and composting facilities in Northern Ireland which process material collected by the arc21 councils”.

At present, arc21’s region accounts for 59% of all Northern Ireland’s municipal waste – 581,019 tonnes for the year to March 2018. 

arc21 – “The technology proposed is part of the overarching solution to radically improve waste management in the arc21 area and is identified as part of the preferred mix of treatment solutions set out in the arc21 Waste Management Plan”

“The technology proposed is part of the overarching solution to radically improve waste management in the arc21 area and is identified as part of the preferred mix of treatment solutions set out in the arc21 Waste Management Plan,” the consortium says. 

Approval for the incinerator was overturned in the courts in July 2018, which according to the Becon Consortium (formed to pursue the opportunity created by arc21’s public procurement for its residual waste treatment project) was a decision “entirely based on procedural matters surrounding the ability of the Department to make a decision in the absence of a Minister in post”, rather than the project’s compliance with regional waste policy or the “strategic need for such infrastructure”. 

At the time, the appeal court ruled that a senior civil servant did not have the power to grant the project planning permission in the absence of an executive minister.

Legislation was later brought forward by the secretary of state legislation to enable civil servants to take decisions if they were in the public interest.

A spokesman for arc21, told BBC News the incinerator would bring waste management in Northern Ireland “into line with European best practice” and improve recycling rates, reducing reliance on landfill and the export of waste.


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