‘Expensive’ waste plant proposals’ criticised by local MP

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has condemned proposals to press ahead with a controversial waste plant in North Yorkshire dubbing it “an expensive and unnecessary project.”

Next week both North Yorkshire County Council and York Council will meet to discuss whether to give the final go-ahead to plans build an incinerator at Allerton on the outskirts of the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency. The plans have met with stiff opposition from local residents, parish councils, local councillors and Mr Jones.

Mr Jones said if the scheme was backed it would: “represent a poor decision.” “Councillors will be locking our area in to an expensive and unnecessary project,” he said.

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“Recycling is increasing; waste going to landfill is decreasing – we are going in the right direction. Burning our waste is the wrong call.

“Instead, we should be viewing waste as a resource and investing in re-using and recycling it.”

Opponents of the scheme had hoped it was dead in the water after North Yorkshire County Council and York Council earlier this year dropped a legal challenge against the Government’s decision to axe £65m of private finance initiative (PFI) credit for the project.

A spokeswoman for York Council said following the loss of PFI credits it was now proposed the scheme would be supported by both authorities.

The facility, at Allerton Park, near Knaresborough, would dispose of non-recycled household waste and a small amount of commercial and industrial waste either mechanically, biologically or in an Energy for Waste plant.

Council bosses argue it represents value for money, would significantly reduce the local carbon footprint, lead to the creation of up to 400 building jobs, avoid massive penalties if waste continues to be sent to landfill and produce enough electricity to power a town the size of Harrogate.