Viridor to contest council’s refusal to allow it to build ‘energy from waste’ facility in Ardley

Renewable energy company Viridor is appealing against the Oxfordshire council planning committee’s decision to refuse permission for an “energy from waste” facility at its landfill and recycling site in Ardley.

The committee went against recommendations from its own officers in October and refused the facility permission as it did not want a large permanent building in the open countryside.

Viridor believes it has a strong case for appeal, as there is an essential need for a local treatment facility to help the council manage its residual waste more sustainably and to avoid costly fines and increasing landfill taxes.

The company was appointed preferred bidder by the council’s cabinet in September, after demonstrating that its proposals met the county’s residual waste treatment and disposal needs in a sustainable way, while delivering value for money.

Speaking on the decision to appeal, Robert Ryan, a Viridor project manager, said, “We were very disappointed by the original planning decision. Our proposal has been designed to provide a safe and cost-effective solution to Oxfordshire’s residual waste treatment needs in line with the local, regional and national waste strategy and planning policies."

“Our site is already an established waste management site with good access to the road network. Statutory bodies such as the Highways Agency and the Environment Agency were satisfied that there were no significant negative impacts on the local area. On the contrary, our proposal delivers significant economic and other benefits, including the creation of jobs and the production of electricity.

“We are keen to move forward in providing the county with a much needed first-class facility. We’ll continue engaging with the local community and other parties during the process and hope planning consent can be achieved soon.” An appeal date is likely to be confirmed soon.

The proposed facility has been designed to process up to 300,000 tonnes of residual, non-recyclable waste diverting from landfill up to 95% of waste delivered to the facility and generating up to 24MW of electricity to be supplied to the National Grid, enough to power over 24,000 homes. It will also create about 40 permanent jobs and more than 200 during construction.