Decision day over incinerator extension

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PLANNERS are today set to rule on a controversial scheme which would see thousands of extra tonnes of household waste burnt in Sheffield’s municipal incinerator.

The so-called Energy Recovery Facility in the city’s Bernard Road was built in 2006 and powers Sheffield city centre’s district heating network by burning rubbish.

Under the original permission waste contractor Veolia, which runs the incinerator, was only allowed to bring in limited amounts of waste from outside the city.

But the firm now says that as a result of increased recycling, it is running below capacity, and has asked for permission to bring in rubbish from further afield for a period of six years.

Initially the plan had been to bring in extra refuse from the three other South Yorkshire boroughs, as well as the Bassetlaw, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Bolsover, High Peak and Derbyshire Dales local authority areas.

But those plans have now been scaled back to exclude Doncaster, Bassetlaw and three of the Derbyshire councils, although environmental campaigners are still opposed.

Sheffield Council said it had received 22 objections including representations from Sheffield Friends of the Earth, People Against Incineration and the Sheffield Green Party.

In a letter, objectors said: “The proposal will have a negative impact on the health of local people and deaths will be brought forward.

“Air quality in Sheffield is already poor, leading to ill-health and the change will worsen the situation rather than improve it. “

Despite the objections, planning officers are expected to advise councillors that the “six-year temporary consent is considered to be appropriate”.

They add: “This application will not alter the volume of waste that can be processed. It is only seeking approval to increase the amount collected outside Sheffield.”