Inquiry into MVV Energie ash recycling at Whitecleave quarry

Image caption,
If approved, MVV would process about 57,000 tonnes of ash a year at the quarry near Buckfastleigh

A planning inquiry has started to consider proposals to recycle ash from Plymouth's waste incinerator.

MVV Energie wants to transport ash from its plant to Whitecleave Quarry, near Buckfastleigh.

Devon County Council rejected the plans last year amid concerns about noise, dust and traffic.

The company's appeal will be heard by the planning inspector. It said changes had been made at the quarry since the original application.

If planning permission is granted, MVV is expected to move about 57,000 tonnes of ash a year to the quarry for recycling into building material.

The plant will also process about 25,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste a year.

'Massively controversial'

Speaking before the inquiry opened at Buckfastleigh Town Hall, local campaigner Neil Smith said MVV had made misleading claims about the plant's discharges into the River Dart.

"They will be discharging effluent into the River Dart.

"It is massively controversial for the town and for wildlife."

MVV managing director Paul Carey said: "We have never denied that there will be effluent in the Dart but it is principally rainwater.

"Because it is going out of the plant we have to analyse it and prove it will not be in an adverse condition.

"We won't get consent if we are seen to be polluting the River Dart."

The waste to energy plant in Plymouth is due to start operating by the end of next year.

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