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Brian Wilson, energy minister, today announced that he had turned ...
Brian Wilson, energy minister, today announced that he had turned

down an application to extend the existing 55 MW energy-from-waste

power station at Edmonton, North London.

Mr Wilson said granting consent would be contrary to the government's

waste strategy policy as set out in 'Waste Strategy 2000'.

In a written answer to a parliamentary question, Mr Wilson said:

'I have today decided that consent under section 36 of the

Electricity Act 1989 to London Waste Ltd's application cannot be

given. The extension would have an annual throughput of waste of

around 285,000 tonnes over and above the existing station's capacity

of 550,000 tonnes per annum.

'In deciding not to grant consent I have taken into account the

hierarchy for the treatment of waste set out in the government's

Waste Strategy 2000. Our policy is that waste should be minimised and

recycling and composting undertaken before energy from waste is

considered. I have considered all the information placed before me,

both for and against the extension, and have concluded that the

existing station is large enough to deal with the North London Waste

Authority's(NLWA) residual waste after recycling. To grant consent

for the extension would result in a station with an overall capacity

capable of handling all of NLWA's municipal waste and could mean that

the NLWA had little incentive to do more recycling over and above the

minimum required by statute. Also should the NLWA meet or better its

recycling targets then this would lead to a shortfall in the waste

stream for the extended station and could lead to waste being

imported from other areas which would be contrary to the Proximity

Principal whereby waste should be treated as near to its origin as


'I have also considered the measures the applicant has undertaken to

incorporate at the Edmonton site to encourage recycling, composting

and using heat for local district heating schemes. While these

measures are to be welcomed I am aware that previous ones of a

similar type on the site have been closed or not utilised. I am of

the opinion that at the present time they are not sufficient to

justify granting consent to the extension. Indeed should such

measures prove successful then there would appear to me to be less

justification for the need for the extension.

'In refusing consent I should make it clear that the government is

not against energy-from-waste stations where they are clearly

required and properly sized. The requirement of our policy is that

statutory recycling targets must be met and that no incineration

proposal shall be permitted which will pre-empt recycling or reduce

the option for recycling for the future.'


1. The consent to build, extend and operate power stations is

required under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. Planning

permission has been deemed to be granted under Section 90(2) of the

Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

2. Waste Strategy 2000: England and Wales May 2000, ISBN 0 10 146932

2 (PartOne) and ISBN 0 10 146933 0 (Part Two). Available from the

Stationary Office, tel. 0845 7023474.

3. Public copies of the Section 36 consent are available from Walter Gusmag, Energy Policy and Consents, tel. 020-7215 2727.

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