SITA UK has expressed its delight with today's (6th March) decision by Northumberland County Council's planning committee to approve the planning application for a new integrated waste management facility (IWMF) in West Sleekburn.
The ultra-modern £11m facility will process 50,000 tonnes a year of mixed newspapers, magazines, cardboard, cans and plastic bottles collected by the local district councils' kerbside recycling schemes across Northumberland. It will also handle up to 70,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from Wansbeck, Blyth and Castle Morpeth that will be transported to Teesside, where it will be used to generate electricity.
The IWMF has two key components – a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) and a Waste Transfer Station, each of which is crucial to Northumberland County Council and SITA UK's plans to increase recycling and divert as much of the county's waste away from landfill as possible. The project will create up to 80 full time jobs.
The West Sleekburn facility will be a key part of the infrastructure for SITA UK's 28 PFI contract with Northumberland County Council.
Charles Dupont, PFI Director for SITA UK, said: “Naturally we are delighted with today's decision. This will be an important strategic facility for managing Northumberland's waste and we believe this is the best location for it. We have held exhibitions locally to consult local people and I believe that the revised proposals approved today show that their views have been taken in to account.
He added: “Providing these new facilities will enable the County Council to meet stringent targets for landfill diversion set by the Government. Failure to meet these targets will result in significant fines in the future.”
Today's decision was the second time that the planning committee had considered the application. At a meeting in January the committee decided to defer making a decision so that the Council and SITA UK could review the access road to the site.
SITA UK and the County Council examined traffic issues but found the most appropriate way to access the site was from the A189 Spine Road via Brock Lane and the existing industrial estate access road.
Northumberland County Council will put a package of traffic management measures in place as part of the development works. This will include:
• Improving road safety at West Sleekburn Middle School
• Widening a section of road and increase parking provision on the industrial estate access road
• Insisting on strict controls to ensure site vehicles follow the agreed traffic routes that avoid local residential areas.
All traffic, except traffic collecting waste from West Sleekburn itself, will access the IWMF via the A189/Brock Lane. It will not pass through local residential areas.
It is hoped that construction work will begin on the site in a matter of weeks and it is due to be operational by the end of 2009.
1. SITA UK is the waste management specialist recently chosen by Northumberland County Council as its partner for its long-term private finance initiative (PFI) contract for waste services. This new contract is backed by £40.8m of Government funding which will help provide essential new and improved facilities across the county. The investment in facilities in Northumberland is being channelled through SITA Northumberland Ltd.
2. SITA UK, a subsidiary of Suez Environment, serves over 12 million people and more than 35,000 businesses with a range of waste collection and treatment options. It employs over 5,000 staff and has an annual turnover in excess of £500 million. The company handles more than 10 million tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial waste through a network of recycling, composting, energy-from-waste and landfill facilities.
3. Suez Environment, a branch of the Suez Group, supplies services, plant and equipment essential to life and to environmental protection: drinking water production and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, waste processing and recycling. Backed by its experience in the water and waste sectors, Suez Environment has a wide-ranging portfolio of know-how, providing sustainable solutions for local authorities and businesses. Suez Environment employs over 72,130 people worldwide and generated EUR 11.1 billion in sales in 2005.
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