Incinerator firm already near site

OPERATORS of a landfill site next to the proposed Great Blakenham incinerator are bidding to build similar facilities at other landfills in the UK, The Evening Star can reveal today.

OPERATORS of a landfill site next to the proposed Great Blakenham incinerator are bidding to build similar facilities at other landfills in the UK, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Viridor UK's landfill and recycling plant off Stowmarket Road, Great Blakenham, is just a matter of yards away from a site identified by Suffolk County Council, out of 70 possibilities, as the preferred location for a £600m waste burning plant.

Today The Evening Star can reveal Viridor is currently building its first energy from waste incinerator in Slough.

It has also been given planning permission for an incinerator in Exeter and is in talks about building further waste-burning plants at two of its landfill sites in Oxfordshire and Scotland.

Suffolk County Council is due to put the contract for building the planned incinerator out to tender at the end of this month with a preferred bidder not due to be appointed until June 2010.

Peter Welham, head of anti-incinerator campaign group SAIL, said: “It seems quite a remarkable coincidence, if nothing more, that this site has been chosen.

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“I would be very surprised if Viridor don't put a tender in to build the incinerator. I would hope it's not a done deal.”

“It would seem this location is best for Suffolk County Council, hence their extreme resistance to talk about any other site. They are keeping their cards very close to their chest.”

Bryn Griffiths, assistant director of environment, said: "The waste service considered a range of criteria before coming to a decision on what site to offer to the market.

“The issues included size, consistency with the waste local plan, transport, environmental and economic issues. The county council did not consult any waste contractor on the locations we were considering and it would have been highly inappropriate to do so.

“There is no link between the suitable site we have chosen at Great Blakenham and any waste facility in the area such as Viridor's landfill site.

“To have involved any individual contractor in our choice of a suitable site would be illegal in European Public Procurement Law and would have cut across our objective of encouraging competition to get a better deal for the council tax payer in Suffolk.

"The county council has chosen a suitable site to offer to all the contractors who wish to submit a tender to provide a residual waste treatment facility for Suffolk.”

Mr Griffiths said that the fact the site for a proposed incinerator has to already be designated for industrial use and measure at least two-and-a-half hectares, limits locations available, prompting the “coincidence”.

A spokesman for Viridor said: “Suffolk County Council did not consult with Viridor Waste Management in any way regarding site selection.

“There is currently no formal tendering process underway. If a contract procurement process is started, Viridor will assess the opportunity to provide a service at that time.”

Are you in favour of a waste incinerator at Great Blakenham? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Oxfordshire incinerator

Land near Viridor's Ardley landfill site in Oxfordshire is among two potential sites earmarked for an incinerator to burn the county's non-recyclable waste.

The second bid, for a site at Sutton Courtenay near Didcot, is from the Waste Recycling Group.

Both companies will be asked to submit their proposals in more detail with a final decision to be announced in early 2009.

Each site currently contains landfill, but the chosen company will need to apply for planning permission.

Dunbar incinerator, near Edinburgh

Viridor submitted a controversial application for an incinerator plant at its existing Oxwellmains landfill, near Dunbar, with East Lothian Council back in January.

Slough incinerator

Viridor Waste Management has joined forces with Grundon Waste Management Ltd and set up a joint venture company, Lakeside Energy From Waste Limited, to build and operate an energy from waste plant at Colnbrook near Slough.

The Colnbrook incinerator is due to open in the second half of this year.

Exeter Incinerator

Viridor has planning permission for a further incinerator in Exeter

March 28 2008 - Council due to receive government approval for Private Finance Initiative form of funding for residual waste treatment facility

End of March 2008 - Tendering process for incinerator to start

December 2008 - Approval of Inter Authority Agreement by all Suffolk Waste Collection Authorities and the Waste Disposal Authority

June 2010 - Preferred bidder for long-term solution (incinerator) to be appointed

September 2011 - Planning application for incinerator to be submitted by the preferred bidder

December 2014 - Incinerator to be in place.

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