UU/Interserve play waiting game over waste PFI

Resource Recovery Solutions, the energy-from-waste joint venture between Interserve and United utilities, has opted not to revise its planning application for a facility in Cheshire following an earlier rejection.

The JV will instead wait for the councils to pick a PFI partner before re-submitting. A spokesman for RRS told Place: "We are going to wait until the council announces its decision on the preferred bidder for their waste contract before confirming our response to the refusal by Cheshire West and Chester's Strategic Planning Committee to grant planning permission for our proposed waste treatment plant in Wincham."

The £850m private finance initiative contract, being established jointly by Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester Councils, will cover collection and disposal of household waste over 25 years across the county. The councils currently send around 200,000 tonnes of waste to landfill each year.

RRS plans a waste treatment plant at New Cheshire Business Park in Wincham, using gasification technology to generate renewable energy from non-recyclable waste. However, the RRS planning application was rejected in June due because, according to the Cheshire West & Chester, "the site was not allocated in the Waste Local Plan, overprovision of waste capacity and detrimental effect on the local community in particular local roads such as the A559".

The rival bidder for the PFI contract, Viridor, also had its first application turned down but submitted a revised version, scaling the capacity down from 250,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes a year, earlier this month.

The two authorities are hoping to appoint a preferred bidder in October.

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