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Courtauld Road waste plant set to expand
A HUGE waste plant due to be built in Basildon will be expanded, Essex County Council has admitted. County councillors backed proposals for a huge rubbish treatment plant at Courtauld Road last week.
The complex will treat 417,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste each year, by removing any recyclables and rotting what is left down into a substance which can be burnt, reused or landfilled.
But even before the plant is built, County Hall bosses are seeking a waste firm to rent the other half of the site, to develop an anaerobic digester to turn green and food waste from across Essex into compost.
Details of the second plant, which it was feared was on the cards, were revealed in a report to the development and regulation committee, which agreed the first phase on Friday.
The report said: “The Essex Waste Partnership is seeking to develop the land to the west of the application site and proposing it will contain a composting facility, to treat in the region of 50,000 tonnes of mixed food and garden waste per year, producing compost as an end-product.”
Campaigners who opposed the development of a plant at the site have now pledged to fight any expansion.
John Dornan, Tory Basildon councillor in charge of the environment, spoke against the mechanical biological treatment plant going ahead, saying the borough has had enough of truck loads of other people’s waste coming to Pitsea tip.
He said: “I will campaign against any other waste facility down there, such as an anaerobic digestion plant. It will only add to traffic overload in the area. On top of this, I don’t think there is the market for anaerobic digestion and there is certainly no need to put one in Basildon. The borough has been dumped on enough.”
Rob Hill, from Davenants, in Pitsea, added: “They have been determined to use Courtauld Road and voted through the first phase, based on 400 lorry movements a day. Another plant at the same site will only increase that.”
Essex County Council has pledged there will be no incineration at the site, but failed to remove a controversial clause from its waste strategy which would allow it to go ahead. So far, no planning application has been made.