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End of the line for Shore Road incinerator?

Grundon’s planning application for a 90ktpa incinerator on Shore Road, near Perth Prison, was first refused in 2009 and its appeal was rejected by Scottish Ministers in November 2010. Grundon then submitted an amended planning application that was refused in February 2012, and on the 19th of August 2013 the appeal for this amended application was also rejected by Scottish Ministers. It is hoped that Grundon will accept this decision rather than launching a legal challenge or submitting yet another amended application.

Excerpts from the Shore Road Report by Dannie Onn, a Reporter (Planning Inspector) appointed by the Scottish Ministers

According to the Decision Documents, the Ministers agreed with the Reporter (Inspector) in relation to the Shore Road incinerator that, amongst other things that: “The main concern is with the potential night-time noise level, when existing background  noise is low…At night-time, the proposed facility would generate noise mostly from the operation of the gas engines and heat exchanger fans.  The fans at least may give a distinguishable whine or hum which may change during use…The prison residents and people living on South Inch View would notice the change in noise levels. Sleep might be affected, which could lead to impacts on health. The significance of the impact would be large, which would harm living conditions at the prison and at South Inch View. These noise levels would also be above the World Health Organisation guidelines.”

In relation to Air Quality it was stated that: “The proposed facility will emit some pollutants through the exhaust stack. The issue here is the impact of additional nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on existing levels within the city…Perth is declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA)…Modelled concentrations predict that the proposed facility would result in NO2 at properties along parts of Dundee Road in excess of the air quality objective.Although only affecting a small part of the AQMA, exceeding the objective at all indicates that human health would be affected. The assessments are based on a series of worst case assumptions and, in practice, there may be no breach. But the worst case situation may well arise and could do so frequently. It should be used as the basis for judgement when a standard is set to protect public health…Whilst public health is a matter primarily for SEPA and PPC licensing, allowing a development where the limit would be likely to be exceeded, and where the solution would be likely to involve material changes to the design, would not be good planning.”

In relation to odours it was stated that: “The use of waste as an energy source runs the risk of smells from the decay of imported materials…Although escaping odours could be controlled by an Odour Management Plan, regulated by SEPA, there would remain a likelihood of odour being a problem from time to time. I cannot therefore be sure that living conditions near the facility would be protected from offensive smells without changing the design. Thus I consider that the proposal as it stands would be at risk of harming the living conditions nearby and this could not be overcome by further planning conditions.”

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