York & North Yorkshire

Allerton incinerator plans approved by councillors

Protesters outside the planning meeting
Image caption Dozens of protesters gathered outside council offices before the meeting

Controversial plans for a waste incinerator in North Yorkshire have been approved by councillors.

North Yorkshire County Council's planning committee took almost eight hours to reach a decision.

The plant at Allerton Park, near Knaresborough, is expected to cost £1.4bn over 25 years.

More than 10,000 people had signed a petition opposed to the scheme. The county council said it was a major part of its waste management plans.

Amey Cespa has been awarded a contract to build and manage the plant by North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council.

It would be built using £65m of private finance initiative funding and the Conservative-controlled county council said it would prevent 90% of North Yorkshire's household waste from going into landfill.

The incinerator would also create enough energy from leftover waste to power 40,000 homes, according to Amey Cespa.

Image caption The incinerator would be sited in countryside between York and Harrogate

Protesters, including the North Yorkshire Waste Action Group, claim the scheme is too big and is designed to burn far more waste than North Yorkshire produces.

Bob Schofield, from the group, said: "It will cost every tax payer in North Yorkshire an enormous amount of money and there are far more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternatives."

There are also concerns about traffic congestion and some local residents have claimed the plans have already devalued their homes.

Councillors on the 11-member planning committee voted nine to two to approve the planning application.

Mr Schofield said the group would continue to fight.

He said: "This matter is not over. We are going to move everything we can to get the government to call in this application and have it determined at a public inquiry."

Amey Cespa was unavailable for comment.

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