Waste plant set to be supported after planners examine scheme

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PLANS for a controversial waste treatment facility on the borders of three South Yorkshire boroughs are unlikely to be challenged by officials in Barnsley, despite concerns expressed by people living nearby.

The site of the development, which has been identified to deal with refuse from Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham under a jointn plan, is at Manvers, near Bolton upon Dearne.

A final planning decision will lie with Rotherham Council, but officers and members of Barnsley’s planning committee, which meets on Friday, have been asked to give their assessment.

In a report to the meeting, specialist officers say the site is around 320m south of the border with the Barnsley borough, with the nearest house in Barnsley around 450m away.

The report says: “The site is located within the Dearne Valley at a lower level than the surrounding areas and is visible from the southern parts of Bolton upon Dearne, which lies within Barnsley.

“A large part of Bolton upon Dearne is built on a south facing valley slope and therefore a number of dwellings generally face the application site.”

Despite this officers are set to advise planning councillors that there is no reason for them to formally object to the 14 acre scheme, which has already been “found sound” by Government planning inspectors.

Shanks Waste Solutions and Scottish and Southern Energy, which together formed the company 3SE, were selected as the preferred developers for the multi-million pound waste facility in April last year

The company has said it will recycle black bag waste from households in the three boroughs - leaving just 1.5 per cent of rubbish to go to landfill under the so-called BDR Waste Partnership.

Late last month the company submitted an environmental permit application for the proposed Bolton Road plant to the Environment Agency, an application which is expected to spark further opposition.

3SE plans to build a Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plant and an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant site, which could open in the spring of 2015 and create around 40 jobs.

It would process an expected 200,000 tons of household waste each year and first remove materials that can be reused or recycled - such as metals, glass, plastics and compost.

Remaining waste would be “biodried” and turned into fuel to be burned at the Ferrybridge power station, near Knottingley, in a process which could provide enough energy to power 36,000 homes.

In their final assessment, Barnsley Council officers said: “This proposal lies within an allocated site and the proposed strategic waste management proposal conforms to the general aims of the plan.

In short, it would make a significant contribution towards delivering a sustainable waste management solution for all three boroughs.

“While there would be additional movements of vehicles associated with the development, there is not considered to be a significant impact on Barnsley and the areas of highway closest the site.

“In terms of the impact on the amenity of residents through noise or air pollution, this has been fully assessed and there are no objections on this basis.

“While the site would be visible from the southern edge of Bolton upon Dearne, the development would be seen in context of the existinglarge warehouse buildings and, accordingly, there are no concerns regarding landscape and visual impact.

“It is recommended it be communicated to Rotherham Council that Barnsley Council has no object to the proposal.

Doncaster Council has also been asked to scrutinise the plan.Rotherham Council’s planning committee will make a final ruling on the application later this year.