New waste incinerator given green light by Fife Council

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Fife Council has approved plans for a new waste management park at the site of a former opencast mine.

The Westfield site, near Cardenden, will be converted despite 35 objections from local residents and community councils representing Benarty, Kinglassie, Cardenden and Portmoak.

They argued that the development could pollute the local water and food supplies, burning rubbish would create twice as much Co2 as fossil fuel, and there would be an impact on noise, odour and light pollution. Road and pedestrian safety would also be decreased with the influx of HGVs.

But planning officers said the site would “assist in achieving renewable energy generation and zero waste targets at both Council and National level.”

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A report also stated: : “The proposal would also act as a catalyst to enable the restoration, landscaping and redevelopment of the wider former industrial mine site for the wider public and environmental benefits including pollution reduction, improved water quality and the provision of enhanced outdoor leisure and recreational provision.”

There are further plans granted in principle to create a solar energy park with industrial units and the potential to join up to the Fife circle rail line.

Up to 134 HGVs will use the road on a daily basis.

Chris Smith, lead officer, said: “There is an extensive history to this site. Planning permission in principle was agreed back in October 2017.

“The energy generated by the facility would be used to help stimulate business growth.

“The waste supplied could be merchant and residential, but it is currently unknown. We do know it will be non-hazardous and at an acceptable standard outlined by SEPA. For waste businesses, it’s better to have have the waste come from closer to the process facility, so it is likely it will come from Fife, but we can’t rule out it coming from further afield.”

It was noted that there was no current agreement for Fife Council to supply any waste for the facility.

But concerns were still raised over the lack of engagement with locals and community councils.

Mr Smith said: “There are plans to meet and have future engagement at community councils. An advisory group is likely to be created in the Spring.

“Work is expected to start on the site for the end of April, beginning of May. They didn’t see the point to creating a group before that time, as there would be nothing to tell anyone.”

He added: “At the end of the day, they want to be good neighbours and get on.”