Inquiry into Calder Valley Skip Hire incinerator plans set to resume

Protesters outside Halifax Town Hall in December 2017 when the application was heard
Protesters outside Halifax Town Hall in December 2017 when the application was heard

A planning appeal which will determine whether a Calderdale company can operate an incinerator at its premises will resume in late November.

Calderdale Council Planning Committee refused Calder Valley Skip Hire permission to operate a small waste incineration plant at its Belmont Industrial Estate, Rochdale Road, Triangle, site, and to vary some of the site’s existing conditions of use.

Calder Valley Skip Hire, Belmont Waste Recycling Centre, Rochdale Road, Sowerby Bridge

Calder Valley Skip Hire, Belmont Waste Recycling Centre, Rochdale Road, Sowerby Bridge

A public inquiry into the appeal opened at the start of April and was scheduled to have finished at the end of that week but was adjourned while the company, which is appealing the decision, submitted a revised Environmental Statement.

The council was then able to consult the public further on the additional information that statement might contain.

Now the council says the inquiry will resume under Planning Inspector Ian Jenkins at Halifax Town Hall, Crossley Street, on Tuesday, November 26, at 10am, and is expected to last four days, after which the inspector will consider his decision.

The application has proved controversial, attracting opposition from all political parties, MPs Craig Whittaker (Con, Calder Valley) and Holly Lynch (Lab, Halifax), petitions and protests and generating more than 1,000 responses on the council’s planning portal, mainly objecting to the plans.

At the inquiry’s opening in the spring, counsel for the council and the company laid out their initial positions.

John Barrett, for Calderdale Council, said the two hectare site was about one kilometre from Sowerby Bridge.

In December 2017, councillors decided to refuse the application with main issues including its impact on Air Quality and quality of life with air quality a key factor, he said.

Sowerby Bridge has been declared an Air Quality Management Area because national air quality standards are not being met there, said Mr Barrett.

The proposal would result in an increase in pollutants which would impact on the AQMA.

The appellant’s case was that the impacts were negligible.

Satnam Choongh, for Calder Valley Skip Hire, said the small waste incineration plant site was at an established waste management facility regulated by the Environment Agency.

If the appeal was successful, the result would deliver several environmental benefits.

Less waste would go straight to landfill, which would also reduce the number of lorry movements needed to transfer it off site positively affecting the Air Quality Management Area.

The process involved producing heat which could also be used as an energy source, he said.

SWIP permission did not mean waste going on site solely for the purpose of incineration, only residuals on the site, said Mr Choongh.