Campaign to ‘Stop The Incinerator’

Now it seems there’s another burning issue getting people hot under the collar in Ruddington.

It’s after an application was submitted to Nottinghamshire County Council last month to turn the soon-to-be-decommissioned Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station into a waste incineration plant. Environmental campaigners’ initial joy, that the coal fired power plant is now so little used by The National Grid that it’ll be shut down within five years, has since turned to dismay on learning what might replace it.

The proposal by Uniper UK Limited is for the development of ‘The East Midlands Energy Re-Generation’ (EMERGE) Centre – which is described as a ‘multifuel energy recovery facility, to recover energy from waste material’. The company says: “The EMERGE Centre would use proven technology under carefully controlled conditions, to convert non-hazardous waste left over from the recycling process into reliable, sustainable and lower carbon electricity. It would be capable of accepting around 500,000 tonnes of non-recyclable industrial and municipal waste each year. This includes the waste people put into their non-recyclable (usually black) wheelie bins.”

The current power station viewed from Cottagers Hill with the proposed EMERGE Centre superimposed

However, those objecting to this proposal say this is NOT the sort of waste recycling our planet needs. Moreover, as Ruddington is downwind from the site, there are concerns that the burning of plastics and other noxious materials could produce even worse odours and air quality issues for our village than the coal which is burnt there now.

Cllr Walker

Ruddington Labour Borough Councillor, Jennifer Walker, says: “Ratcliffe-on-Soar is being rightly decommissioned in 2025 and has only been fired up once in the last two months showing a welcome commitment to the end of coal as an energy source but the proposal of a waste incinerator in Rushcliffe is unnecessary and lazy. Rushcliffe at present recycles or incinerates 95% of its waste with only 5% going to landfill so we can only assume that the feedstock needed to power this proposed site would come from elsewhere by the lorry-load or Rushcliffe will need to recycle less to keep up with the energy demand.”

Uniper UK Limited says: “The EMERGE Centre would have the ability to handle a range of wastes including biomass, which would allow (it) to cope with any future changes in waste composition, for example, as a result of improved recycling, reduced plastic use, or separate collection of food wastes.”

However, The Rushcliffe Labour Group estimates there will be close to twenty incinerators within a two hour distance from Ratcliffe-on-Soar in the very near future. So they say this incinerator is not needed: “Nor does it go anywhere to dealing with the issues of excess rubbish and the poor recycling and composting facilities” continues Cllr Walker. “This is not the way we are going to reach the government’s own 70% recycling target for 2030. Incineration is not needed in Rushcliffe. Cllr Gaunt and I will be campaigning against this proposal to Nottinghamshire County Councillors Reg Adair and Andy Brown as Ruddington sits in the prevailing wind of the site.”

Cllr Walker has started a petition against these incinerator plans, which you can find >>HERE<<.

Cllr Gaunt

Fellow Ruddington Labour Councillor Mike Gaunt comments: “As Cllr Walker states, the proposed incinerator is a totally inappropriate use for the Ratcliffe on Soar site. It is a completely unsustainable option for a future that requires us to live in a more sustainable way. Economically it makes very little sense as it will only provide a very limited number of jobs in the area, many of which will not be for people in Rushcliffe.”

He adds: “Environmentally it is completely the wrong option to encourage the burning of plastic as a solution to our nations packaging problem and socially it will be very worrying for the people of Ruddington to sit in the prevailing wind direction of an incinerator burning plastic and other rubbish. We need this application to be rejected at this early stage so that we can get something sensible suggested for this valuable site.”

However, Uniper UK Limited says: “The residual waste would arrive to site pre-sorted from local authority or commercial waste handling facilities. It would be fully enclosed within the main building under negative pressure, to ensure no odour escapes outside into the atmosphere. Road access to and from the site during construction and operation would be via the power station’s existing HGV entrance located off the A453 on to Barton Lane. Options are also being explored by Uniper to use the existing railway line to accept deliveries of residual waste to site in sealed containers.”

Despite these reassurances, our two Ruddington councillors have received the backing of Ruddington Parish Council, which voted to object to the proposals at its meeting on Tuesday night (August 25th). Campaigners also have the support of UKWIN (The United Kingdom Without Incineration Network) which has submitted its own 118 point objection to the Ratcliffe-on-Soar plans.

The Planning Policy comments from Nottinghamshire County Council on this proposal can be viewed >>HERE<<.

We’ll keep you posted with further developments here at

{Images courtesy of Uniper Energy}

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