Scottish Council Loses Appeal Against Waste to Energy Pyrolysis Plant

An appeal against a controversial waste to energy facility which would use pyrolysis technology in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, has failed and the project will now go ahead.

An appeal against a controversial waste to energy and recycling facility featuring pyrolysis technology in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, has failed and the project will now go ahead.

According to the developer, Shore Energy, the facility will handle some 160,000 tonnes of waste per year and be located on a former landfill site in Carnbroe.

Back in 2010 the recommendation of the North Lanarkshire Council Planning Officers was that the planning application should be approved. However, the council ultimately refused permission

The developer then appealed the decision to Scottish Ministers who granted permission in May 2011.

The council then mounted a legal challenge against the decision by the Reporters acting for the Scottish Ministers to grant planning permission, which was heard in January 2012. In September that year the challenge was rejected by the Court of Session.

A subsequent appeal to that decision has now also been rejected.

"We were extremely surprised (last November) when we heard that NLC were taking our successful Judicial review for a further run in court,” commented Shore Energy’s managing director, Simon Howie.

“Change is often resisted but I’m convinced we will be able to take the doubters around this plant in two years’ time and allay any fears by showing them a modern, high-tech business with extremely high standards of environmental compliance,” he added.

Howie added that the company will now setup a public liaison group to help secure public buy-in for the project.

Decision

According to a BBC report, the judges at the Court of Session heard arguments based on European directives and the Scottish government's Zero Waste Policy - a commitment to ensure that by 2025 only 5% of refuse would go to landfill.

In the judges' written ruling, Lady Smith said: "This court can only be concerned with the legality of the reporters' decision, not with the merits of the decision to grant planning permission."

According to the ruling, "the council had not demonstrated that the reporters' decision lacked the requisite validity".

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council is reported to have said: "We are very disappointed at the outcome of the appeal. However, the action raised by the council had the full support of elected members across the political spectrum and reflected the wishes of our residents."

Shore energy said that the project would create a £50 million investment to the local area as well as create 50 permanent jobs.


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