Waste-burning approved despite row

View from Sheffield Cathedral,looking towards Bernard Road incinerator
View from Sheffield Cathedral,looking towards Bernard Road incinerator
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COUNCILLORS have rubber-stamped plans to allow 50,000 tonnes of waste from Barnsley, Rotherham and Chesterfield to be burned in Sheffield every year.

The Bernard Road incinerator, which faced fierce opposition when it was first opened in 2006, burns 225,000 tonnes of household waste annually.

Bosses at Veolia Environmental Services, which runs the £45 million plant, told the council’s city centre, south and east planning board that Sheffield residents do not now generate enough rubbish for the facility because they have started recycling more.

According to the terms of the facility’s original planning permission, Veolia could accept only 10 per cent of its rubbish from Rotherham and North East Derbyshire councils.

Last night the council granted permission for Veolia to increase what it takes from other authorities to 22 per cent.

That will enable the plant to burn waste from Barnsley and Chesterfield as well.

The application had been opposed by 22 people, including representatives of the Green Party and the campaign group Sheffield Friends of the Earth.

They complained bigger vehicles would be needed to bring in the rubbish, meaning worse pollution.

Green Coun Jillian Creasy said Veolia should try to make up the shortfall by sourcing commercial and industrial waste within the city, rather than going further afield for household waste.

Officers said commercial waste was very difficult to obtain. Nigel Williams, Sheffield director of Veolia, said: “If this waste didn’t come to this city it would go into landfill.”

Coun Peter Price, voting for the application, said: “We dismiss this option at our peril.

“This facility heats 164 buildings, including Ponds Forge, the library and the town hall and it generates electricity for more than 20,000 homes. As oil prices go up these kinds of facility are going to be a bigger part of the solution.”

The 10 board members voted unanimously to approve the conditions for six years. After that time neighbouring authorities should have built their own incinerators.