Plymouth site chosen for new waste incinerator

A waste incinerator to deal with south Devon's rubbish could be built in Plymouth.

South West Devon Waste Partnership has chosen MVV Umwelt as its preferred bidder to build the energy-from-waste plant at Devonport.

Up to 400 jobs will be created during construction, with about 35 permanent jobs once the plant is up and running.

Labour MP Alison Seabeck said the visual and environmental impact would be felt by hundreds of families.

A planning application will be submitted to Plymouth City Council in the spring.

If approved, the incinerator will be sited at North Yard in the Weston Mill area of Devonport Naval Base, bordering Blackies Wood.

Before the application is made, MVV will hold a public consultation on its proposal and will also carry out a full environmental impact assessment.

Paul Carey, managing director of MVV Environment Devonport Ltd, said the plant would provide "cost-effective, environmentally sustainable electrical energy, sufficient for more than 37,000 households".

The new plant will handle all domestic rubbish from Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon for the next 25 years.

Ms Seabeck, MP for Plymouth Moor View, said she could not see how siting an incinerator next to a residential area would benefit local community.

'Community enhancements'

"I am disappointed that a site has been chosen that borders directly on a number of houses, where the visual and environmental impact will be felt by hundreds of families," she said.

"I know from my postbag that residents are very concerned about this facility being so close to their homes."

Mark Turner from the South West Devon Waste Partnership said the council would discuss possible compensation for nearby residents.

"Through the planning process there will be decisions made as to what community enhancements are necessary to compensate those local communities," he told BBC News.

"Nothing is pre-determined at this point."

The Royal Navy, however, said it welcomed the decision to base the site at Devonport.

Commodore Steve Dearden, commander of Devonport Naval Base, said the energy generated by the plant would reduce the running costs of the base and ultimately benefit the tax payer.

Local community and environmental groups said they would continue to argue that incinerators were an "out-of-date solution" when there were "cheaper, cleaner and greener options available".

Charlotte Mills, a spokesperson for one of the groups, EcoIvy, said it was the "wrong decision" for Devon.

"Devon tax payers will be shocked to learn that this decision has never been fully voted on by all the councils involved," she said.

"We will now be exploring legal avenues to stop this incinerator, as we believe the decision is fiscally and environmentally irresponsible."

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