Nottingham

Eric Pickles calls in Bilsthorpe power station plans

Designs for the plant at Bilsthorpe Image copyright Peel
Image caption The site could handle around 120,000 tonnes of 'non-hazardous' waste each year

Plans for a £70m waste-burning power station in Nottinghamshire have been called in by the communities secretary for further inspection.

Approval for the energy plant, on the site of the former Bilsthorpe Colliery, was granted in November.

However, Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Sherwood, asked Eric Pickles to review the decision on environmental and community grounds.

The county council's planning chairman said he was surprised by the decision.

Mr Spencer opposed the plans at a meeting on 18 November saying concerns over the technology had not been properly addressed.

'Great detail'

The proposals were given the go-ahead but Mr Spencer then wrote to the communities secretary.

He said he was "delighted" the application will now be fully scrutinised by Mr Pickles.

However, councillor John Wilkinson, chairman for planning at Nottinghamshire County Council, said he was disappointed the secretary of state did not give a reason for calling the project in.

He said: "For a planning application to be refused, there needs to be sound, material planning reasons for doing so.

"The application was examined in great detail by professional planning officers and the committee, who came to the same view that no such grounds existed."

The firm behind the plans, Peel Environmental, said the site would handle about 120,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste each year and create enough power for about 23,000 homes.

It added the centre would use the latest gasification methods to recover energy from rubbish, which previously would have been buried at landfill sites.

The project is expected to create 46 jobs at the site, which ceased coal production in 1995.

Image copyright Mark Spencer
Image caption Mark Spencer MP claimed local people were against the project

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