The inquiry opens today into a proposal by Rolton Kilbride Ltd on behalf of Legal and General Assurance Society Limited) to construct a Renewable Energy Centre (“REC”) at land at Keypoint, Thornhill Road, South Marston, Swindon. The REC would employ an Advanced Conversion Technology (ACT), known as ‘gasification’ which heats residual waste to very high temperatures, causing the materials to break down whilst also generating a gas which when burnt in a boiler creates steam, which in turn drives a turbine to generate electricity or export heat. The REC was refused planning permission by Swindon Borough Council on the grounds of: (i) visual impacts and prejudice to Swindon’s development strategy; and (ii) failure to demonstrate need, failure to carry out a robust alternative sites assessment and breach of the proximity principle.

It will be the first appeal to consider a proposal for a new waste facility following the publication on 18 December 2018 of the Government’s “Our Waste, Our Resources: A Strategy for England.”

The inquiry is sitting for 10 days. It is being held at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway, Fire Fly Avenue (off Kemble Drive), Swindon, SN2 2EY.

Christopher Katkowski QC and Zack Simons are appearing for the Appellant.

James Maurici QC and Admas Habteslasie are appearing for Swindon Borough Council.

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