This was an inquiry into the refusal by Halton Borough Council to vary a condition on the planning permission for the 810,000tpa Runcorn Energy from Waste facility limiting the amount of refuse derived fuel to be transported by road (as opposed to by rail or by water) to 85,000tpa. The EfW is operated by Viridor and designed to meet c.30% of the electricity demands of Ineos Chlorvinyls’ chlorine manufacturing plant in Runcorn, which has the greatest electricity demand of any single site in the UK. The evidence presented on behalf of Ineos and Viridor was that if the condition was maintained then the EfW would either operate at under-capacity (meaning that it would divert significantly less waste from landfill) and/or it would be forced to source waste over long-distance rail journeys which would generate greater greenhouse gas emissions than short-distance road journeys, and therefore the condition was environmentally counter-productive as well as threatening the economic benefits of the EfW in securing a nationally significant industrial plant with a vast electricity demand from fluctuations in the energy market.
On 5 March 2015 the Inspector published her decision allowing the appeal together with a full award of costs in favour of the Appellant.
Nathalie Lieven QC and Charles Banner appeared for the Appellant, Ineos Chlorvinyls, instructed by Zyda Law LLP.