Trafford Council challenges Pickles over Barton biomass project

TRAFFORD Council has mounted a legal appeal against Whitehall’s approval given to a controversial renewable energy plant.

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Local Government last month gave the green light to Peel Energy’s £70m Barton Renewable Energy Plant .

A public inquiry backed the plans for the facility, which would take up to 140,000 tonnes of waste biomass a year from landfill and convert it into enough electricity for 37,000 homes, but amid considerable local uproar the local authority has served papers in the High Court to appeal the decision.

Residents from surrounding locations such as  Davyhulme, Urmston, Flixton, Stretford and Eccles protested and many joined the Breathe Clean Air Group campaign, which argues that the plant would pollute the atmosphere locally.

In a statement Peel Energy said the Barton plant would have clear economic benefits, employing 100 workers during construction and creating 15 full-time jobs.

Jon England, project manager at Peel Energy said: “Both the Secretary of State and the planning inspector were unequivocal that the BREP proposal accords with all relevant national and local planning policies.

“We will consider the details of Trafford Council’s legal challenge against the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning permission to BREP very carefully.”