Incinerator plan moves forward as residents continue to mount objection campaign

Plans for an power plant - which has been dubbed a 'monster incinerator' by objectors - have now been sent into city chiefs for consideration.

Proposed site at Hillthorn Park, Washington for Incinerator.
Proposed site at Hillthorn Park, Washington for Incinerator.

Sunderland Renewable Energy Centre would help power Nissan if the proposals, drafted up by Rolton Kirkbride for Hillthorn Farm Enterprise Zone, close to Vantec, are approved.

It would be able to take 215,000 tonnes of non-recyclable, non-hazardous waste a year and generate 27 megawatts of electricity by gasification.

The application sent to Sunderland City Council shows it would include a visitor and education area, staff welfare and offices, a weighhouse and gateshouse, turbine hall, air cooled condenser fans and staff and visitor car parking.

It would also feature a 57 metre chimney and silos for ash and lime, with 35 full-time equivalent jobs created.

The application states: “The proposed development would generate low carbon, renewable energy and is therefore afforded significant support from planning policy to support the movement of the UK to a low carbon economy.

“The energy generated by the centre would result in economic benefits as this would offer cheaper electricity to local businesses, reducing their costs to support their continued operation and expansion.

“The proposal would therefore represent a sustainable development as it would give rise to significant environmental, economic and social benefits with no significant identified harm.”

Campaigners against the scheme are collecting a petition and have set up the No Monster Incinerator in Washington Facebook page and

The site reads: “The increase in traffic to feed the plant would greatly compound Washington’s congested roads, additional concerns are the litter, pests and vermin, air quality, odours, noise, safety, health, and effect on the environment that this development would bring.

“The plant could be disastrous both environmentally and economically for Washington.

“There are proven technologies, better than incineration which can also produce energy with significantly less pollution.

“We, the local population, our families and our children would have to live with the consequences for many years to come. This would not only effect the residential areas of Washington, it will also impact local business, schools and neighbouring areas of Sunderland.”

The application can be accessed via