South Marston waste-to-energy plant approved after appeal

Planned site for waste to energy plant
Image caption Developers have earmarked land off Thornhill Road for the approved plant

The government has approved plans for a waste-to-energy plant that were rejected by councillors.

Residents near the South Marston, Swindon, site claimed the plant could pose health risks, something developers Rolton Killbride deny.

When the proposal was unanimously rejected by Swindon planners in 2017, the developer's lawyer threatened to put the council "through the mincer".

The Planning Inspectorate has now overruled the decision on appeal.

It approved the proposal subject to a number of conditions being met. These include controls to minimise the visual impact of the chimney stack, and the reduction of dust and odour emissions.

Robert Ayres, from campaign group Stop Keypoint Incinerator Project, claimed the plant is not an "appropriate development for the area".

He said: "There's going to be additional traffic lorries bringing waste to the site and taking toxic ash away. There are also concerns in the community about what will come out of the chimney."

'Unsuitable location'

Swindon Borough Council's Gary Sumner said he was "extremely disappointed" the developer's appeal was successful as his officers had worked closely with residents and campaigners to "make the case that Keypoint is an unsuitable location for this facility".

He said he wanted to reassure the local community that the council's planning team will ensure all the government's conditions "are fully complied with".

In a statement, Rolton Killbride said it welcomed the decision but added the appeal "should not have had to take place".

"There exists a large amount of misinformation regarding energy from waste facilities. This appeal has shone a light on some of these myths," it said.

"We have said, from the outset of the process, that we are committed to working with the community, and that remains the case."

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