The South West Devon Waste Partnership has announced that German company MVV Umwelt will be its preferred bidder to build the plant.

Defra is supplying £95 million worth of PFI (Private Finance Initiative) funding towards the cost of the project and has confirmed that the project meets its criteria. They have agreed that the Partnership can appoint MVV as the preferred bidder.

The planning application will now move to the next stage, which will involve a public consultation, work with planners at Plymouth City Council and the application to the Environment Agency for the permit to operate the facility.

The planned site is at the North Yard of the Dockyard in Plymouth. The plant will deal with 250,000 tonnes a year of domestic rubbish from Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon.

Plymouth City Councillor, Mike Leaves ,said: “This is an important step forward for the partnership and shows how working together can achieve a cost effective solution which will also have important environmental benefits too.

“Waste is everyone’s problem and it is vital we find an alternative to landfill, so we are very pleased with this potential solution.”

The proposals are not popular with the entire community. Labour MP Alison Seabeck has been campaigning against the plant being built at North Yard, saying it is too close to homes in Barne Barton, which are within 50 metres of the planned site.

She said: “The visual impact on those people will be significant and were this to proceed to planning committee this would have to be a major issue as would the vehicle movements in and out of the site.”

If planning is approved, the plant is expected to be operational by 2013.

Alison Brown

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