Darwen EFW Plant August 2019

Decision due on Darwen energy-from-waste plant

Charlie Schouten

Suez Recycling’s plan to build a plant capable of processing up to 500,000 tonnes of waste a year is set to be signed off by Blackburn with Darwen council this week.

Due to be built on an 18-acre plot of land around a mile outside Darwen, the energy-from-waste plant will provide enough energy to power 60,000 homes.

The site is near Junction 4 of the M65 and was purchased by Suez Recycling in 2010; it was formerly used as a factory by Wolstenholme Bronze Powders but has been used as a waste transfer station and recycling plant since Suez’s purchase nearly a decade ago.

Suez is planning to build its energy-from-waste facility on the site with its stack reaching up to 90m. Featuring a tipping hall, boiler hall, turbine hall, and bunker, the development also includes a three-storey offices building, separate from the main waste processing facility.

The proposed cladding is composite green and grey panels with the development to be access via Lower Eccleshill Road. It is expected the project will create 50 new jobs with all existing staff to be retained, while at peak construction, around 450 workers will be on site.

There are expected to be 133 HGVs coming and going from the facility per day, equating to 266 movements a day; this has proved contentious with local councillors before the scheme heads to planning committee later this week.

While the proposals have been recommended for approval, objections have come from Cllrs John Slater and Denise Gee, both of whom have pointed out the impact from the HGV journeys on the road network. In total, five letters of objection were received following a public consultation.

However, planners said the scheme would meet the council’s strategic aims for waste processing, taking around 500,000 tonnes of waste away from landfill a year. The application is set to go to the council’s planning committee on 15 August, with a series of conditions for approval, including a three-year implementation period.

RPS is the architect and planner for the project.

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this will be a great opportunity for Blackburn