Controversial plans to expand Melton Energy Park set to be approved

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 22 Jan 2019

Controversial plans to expand East Yorkshire's largest waste plant are set to be given the go-ahead despite objections from hundreds of residents.

More than 500 objections have already been levelled at three separate proposals to expand Melton Energy Park, with people living near by fearing the extra noise, smell, and traffic it could bring to the area.

Transwaste want to expand the site into 24-hour waste processing facility featuring up to twenty one-megawatt gas generators.  Meanwhile, Melton Energy Tech has submitted plans for a new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

The applications follow on the heels of an application for an 'energy from waste plant' which will process 250,000 tonnes of household waste, which was approved back in July 2018, subject to relevant legal agreements.

But despite even ward councillors objecting the latest plans, the application has been recommended for approval ahead of East Riding Council's planning committee on Thursday.

Councillor Julie Abraham said: "Residents are concerned about the cumulative impact of these four planning applications combined and particularly on the amount of noise, odour and emissions that may result.

"The piecemeal nature of these applications means that the applicant has not provided information around noise, odour and emissions for the site as a whole, and has failed to explain how the site will operate between the interlinking processes."

The application to operate the Transwaste transfer station internally for 24-hours a day, seven days a week has received more than 350 objections, with the large majority raising concerns over late-night noise.

East Riding Councillor Julie Abraham

More than 300 people have also objected to plans to install an AD plant on the Melton site, with many stating the detrimental effects it would have on odour, pollutants and noise levels for nearby residents.

If approved, the AD plant would include a gas entry unit, reception office, dewatering building, biogas storage dome, flare, upgrader and a 1.8m high paliside fencing.

The applicant, Melton Energy Tech, said the AD plant would process approximately 100,000 tonnes of feedstock annually. It added that feedstock from the wider Transwaste site is already produced on site as part of the transfer stations existing operation and is presently taken off site for further processing. Should permission be granted this material would then be processed on site.

Both Welton and North Ferriby parish councils have strongly objected to all three applications, lamenting the "unnecessary industrialisation of a residential area." The councils emphasised the cumulative effect the applications would have in terms of human health, with Melton already having the highest level of nitrogen dioxide in the East Riding.

Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis (Image: Hull Daily Mail)

Cllr Abraham said: "How the waste will circulate around the site, how long waste products will be exposed to the atmosphere, and how waste would be stored when any one part of the facility closes for maintenance or breaks down, have not been addressed.

"In total the site would be able to handle up to 750,000 tonnes of waste a year, that is over 2,000 tonnes of waste a day, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We do not believe that that amount of waste can possibly be produced locally so what we are looking at is a facility on our doorstep that handles waste for large areas of the UK."

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An objection to all three proposals was received from Rt. Hon David Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden. He described the applications as "wholly inappropriate" and "totally unsuitable," adding that the digester proposed to feed the gas engines produces horrendous smells regardless of policing and regulations.

Cllr Vanessa Walker also expressed her disgust at the plans, saying: "We do not feel that our concerns have been addressed in the reports that are going before the planning committee.

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 "There is no analysis of the cumulative noise level which could be generated 24 hours a day, what the total toxic emissions will be, or whether the current failings of the company to address odour concerns will be addressed so that they no longer result in complaints from residents to the Environment Agency."

Welton Parish Council has urged East Riding Council to consider an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for what it sees as a set of closely related applications. It adds that the proposals all form part of a comprehensive energy project which clearly meets the criteria for an EIA.

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