Suffolk energy-from-waste facility gets the green light

An energy-from-waste facility that will manage all of Suffolk’s residual household waste has been given the go ahead.

Planning permission for the 269,000 tonnes per year facility at Great Blakenham near Ipswich was granted today and earlier this month the Environment Agency issued the necessary draft permit for the site – effectively giving SITA UK the green light to proceed. Building work is due to start later this year and the plant should be open by December 2014.

Great Blakenham Building

Cliff Matthews, EfW Regional Manager at SITA UK, said: “Today’s decision is excellent news for Suffolk. The days of sending thousands of tonnes of household waste to landfill are coming to an end.

“On a personal note, I would like to thank the people of Suffolk, particularly local residents in and around Great Blakenham, for the open way they have engaged with us since we began consulting on our planning application. We will continue to work closely with local residents as we move to the construction phase later this year.”

Mark Bee, Leader of Suffolk County Council, which has a 25-year contract with SITA UK to build and then run the site, said: “I am delighted we can now start work on this project which will provide Suffolk with a cheaper, greener solution for disposing of household waste which cannot reasonably be recycled.

“We are proud that Suffolk is one of the top recycling areas in the country with over half our household waste recycled. We want to do even better and aim to get to 60 per cent by 2015.

“But there will always be waste left over. Now, we’ll be putting that waste to good use as a fuel to generate electricity. Over the life of the contract this will be around £350 million cheaper than continuing to landfill, and it will also be better for the environment.”

The energy-from-waste facility will bring long-term benefits to the local area with 43 new permanent skilled jobs, plus around 250 jobs created at the peak of construction. A joint venture between CNIM/Lagan has been appointed for the construction work. A range of local business will also benefit with contracts to support construction work and to provide operational support once the facility is up and running. There will also be capacity at the facility for some business waste.

The energy-from-waste facility was designed by architect firm Grimshaw who took inspiration from Suffolk’s open skies to create an eye-catching and unique design.

The facility will feature a state-of the-art glazed visitor centre, landscaped wetland area and an on-site ash processing facility.

Cliff Matthews added: “We have produced a high-quality design for the facility, which we hope will complement its unique setting. We are really excited about getting this new development underway and look forward to helping Suffolk County Council to transform the way waste is managed in the county.”

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