THE company that wants to build a £200 million energy from waste incinerator in Westbury has appealed against Wiltshire Council’s non-determination of the scheme.

Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd says there will be no new information available to the council’s strategic planning committee when it meets on July 22.

NREL – a joint venture between Swindon-based Hills Group and Bioenergy Infrastructure Group – informed Westbury Town Council that it submitted its appeal to the Planning Inspectorate on Tuesday (June 28).

On April 20, Wiltshire Council deferred a final decision on NREL’s application to change the technology for the proposed waste incinerator to moving grate combustion pending the outcome of the Government’s consultation on various environmental targets.

The company said its planning application has been “in determination for a significant period of time”, having been initially submitted to the planning authority on August 10 2020.

NREL’s director Alex Young said: “Despite the previous resolution by Wiltshire Council’s SPC to grant permission, the decision was made to take the planning application back to the SPC, which took place on 20th April 2022.

“The purpose of taking the application back was so that the SPC could evaluate any material changes in the relevant planning circumstances that may have arisen in the previous 9 months, which might alter the previous resolution to grant planning permission made in June 2021.

“However, without regard to the Planning Case Officer’s updated report, Wiltshire Council’s SPC elected to defer a decision on the application until July 2022, pending the outcome of the Government’s consultation on various environmental targets – which includes consultation on residual waste targets for 2042, pursuant to the Environment Act 2021."

This Government consultation was extended in May 2022, with a new closing date of 27 June 2022 and the consultation documentation indicates that there will be no published outcome before October 2022.

Mr Young added: “As such, there will be no new information on this matter available to the SPC by the time of its July 2022 meeting. In short, the same information will be before them as was at their April meeting.

“As such, NREL do not believe that Wiltshire Council’s SPC will determine the planning application at the July meeting and have therefore made the decision to appeal on the basis of non-determination within the relevant statutory period.”

Meanwhile, Westbury Town Council has approved a payment of £1,200 plus VAT for legal advice on whether there are grounds to challenge the Environment Agency’s operating permit for the proposed Northacre site.