Boris Johnson overturns refusal for waste site in London ‘first’

London Mayor Boris Johnson has overruled Merton Council to grant planning permission for an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility and an extended materials recycling and waste transfer station to be built in Mitcham, London.

The decision by the Mayor to overturn Merton Council’s original decision in October 2010 to reject the development is the first time he has used new powers to determine a waste facility planning application considered to be of strategic importance to the capital.

At the time, Merton Council and the local community expressed a number of concerns about the visual impact of the proposed facility on the surrounding areas. Since then, SITA claims to have addressed many of these concerns.

Once built, the site – owned and operated by SITA UK – will process over 160,000 tonnes of waste per annum in total. Of this, the MRF will sort up to 80,000 tonnes and the AD plant will have capacity for 40,000 tonnes of food waste. The waste transfer station will be capable of handling up to 40,000 tonnes of material.

SITA’s chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “We are delighted to have received a positive decision from the Mayor. This is a first for London and an exciting step towards a more sustainable means of waste management for the area.

“London desperately needs a greener, more sophisticated approach to handling waste, so we are delighted our plans for an AD facility have been met with approval.”

Maxine Perella

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