Anger as power plant approved

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a multi-fuel incinerator at Ferrybridge Power Station have been met with “disgust” by Brotherton residents.

The multi-fuel combined heat and power facility (CHP) – which will burn a range of sustainable fuel sources, including biomass, waste-derived fuels and waste wood, to generate electricity and heat – will be built on the existing site in the next three years.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change approved the project this week.

Stephanie Gilbert, Brotherton parish council leader, said she was “horrified” by the consent to build the project and was concerned by the health implications of the plant.

She said: “I am horrified and disappointed that neither Wakefield Council nor the government have heeded the information about horrendous health problems caused by Combined Heat and Power plants.

“This is especially relevant in our area which has much heavy industry, including four power stations. In my opinion this incinerator, when operating, will add to the existing cocktail of pollutants causing further ill-health.

“The incinerator will also produce hazardous ash which will be transported by road to landfill, producing yet another dangerous pollutant, as well as the plethora of lorries transporting normal waste, diesel to the site, creating a huge carbon footprint.”

SSE, which runs the power station, said the project had been through all the planning consultation stages and had considered health implications as well as the positive affects it would have on the community.

Duncan MacDonald, SSE corporate affairs, said: “When we first announced our proposal for a multi-fuel plant in 2009 some concerns were raised with regards to potential health effects.

“SSE worked closely with independent environmental experts to assess any such risk and found that there is no evidence at all that the multi-fuel plant will cause adverse health effects.

“Safety is our number one value, and is of prime importance to us. During our detailed consultation period, lasting approximately two years, we worked carefully to reassure the local community – there is no negative health impacts associated with our proposed plant.”

SSE have said the project will create around 100 jobs, necessitate road improvements, and fund changes to sports venues, including a new football pitch at Ferrybridge Park.

Rhys Stanwix, director of thermal development at SSE, said: “This multi-fuel CHP plant will be an innovative addition to our generating portfolio.

“It will also create approximately 100 full-time jobs throughout its operation and its construction will create 300 jobs on site over the next three years.

“These jobs, along with the additional considerable opportunities for local services and community enhancement work we are doing as part of the development, will make a substantial contribution to the area.”