Committee meeting to discuss controversial Washington incinerator plans will take place next week

Plans for a controversial power plant will be discussed at a committee meeting held in public next week.

Thursday, 11th July 2019, 12:48 pm
Proposed site at Hillthorn Farm, Washington for Sunderland Renewable Energy Centre
Proposed site at Hillthorn Farm, Washington for Sunderland Renewable Energy Centre

If the proposals for Sunderland Renewable Energy Centre, which have been drafted up by Rolton Kirkbride for Hillthorn Farm Enterprise Zone, are approved it will help power Nissan.

A date has now been set for a committee meeting which will discuss the plans, which have caused controversy since an application was submitted in 2017.

The application has been referred to the planning and highways committee meeting – which will take place on Friday, July 19, at 4.30pm.

The meeting will be held at the Stadium of Light in the Montgomery suite.

A letter to residents by Peter McIntyre, Executive Director City Development at Sunderland City Council, states: “The Planning and Highways Committee is made up of elected Councillors. The reports to the Committee meetings, either written or verbal, will include a summary of the representations received.

“The meetings are held in public and there is a procedure to allow interested parties to address the Committee to present their views directly.”

The application shows it would include a visitor and education area, staff welfare and offices, a weighhouse and gatehouse, 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.

But the plans were met with controversy and the proposed centre has been dubbed a ‘monster incinerator’ by protesters.

Concerns have included the safety and effectiveness of the technology to be used, as well as potential impact on health, the environment and traffic.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, says she ‘shares the concerns of my constituents about this plant’ and has applied to speak at the meeting.