'Monster incinerator' gasification plant plans for Washington to be considered at eight-day hearing

A hearing is set to take place next month to decide the future of a planned waste plant in Washington, dubbed a ‘monster incinerator’ by protestors.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 5:34 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 10:27 am
Protesters with MPs Sharon Hodgson and Andrew Gwynne, October (2018)

Proposals for the Sunderland Renewable Energy Centre. drafted by Rolton Kilbride Ltd for Hillthorn Farm Enterprise Zone, aims to help power Nissan.

The plant would convert thousands of tonnes of non-recyclable, non-hazardous waste using high temperatures to break down materials in a process known as ‘gasification’.

Since the planning application was lodged more than two years ago, campaigners have raised concerns about potential traffic issues, air quality and the effectiveness of technology used.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The movement also sparked a 9,000-name petition in opposition and gained support from Washington and Sunderland West MP, Sharon Hodgson.

Rolton Kilbride bosses have previously defended the scheme, adding the technology has been tried and tested in other countries.

As developers lodged an appeal, the plans have now been escalated to a public inquiry led by a government-appointed planning inspector.

The eight-day hearing has been arranged at the Stadium of Light’s Montgomery Suite to decide the future of the scheme, and starts from 10am on Tuesday, February 18.

On subsequent days, sessions will be held between 9.30am and 5pm apart from one evening session on Monday, February 24.

The process will involve the appellant, council and other interested parties giving evidence to the planning inspector, who will later publish a written decision.

Hearings are open to the public with appeal documents available in Sunderland City Council offices and Washington Library.

Forms are available for public inspection during normal opening hours at the City Centre Customer Service Centre in Fawcett Street and Washington Library.

Alternatively, you can view appeal documents online at www.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications by searching reference: 19/00035/REF