EfW plant loses planning battle due to lack of environmental data

An energy-from-waste (EfW) developer, who failed to provide adequate environmental information despite a planning inspector allowing extra time to do so, has been told it can longer build its proposed facility.

Last week, planning inspector David Buylla ruled that the Combined Heat and Power’s (Highlands) development on land at Cromarty Firth Industrial Estate, Invergordon, could not go ahead because he did "not regard the environmental information submitted as adequate". 

Mapped: England’s waste incineration capacity gap

The inspector ruled that "despite numerous requests" CHP Highlands had "failed to provide adequate environmental information or to address other issues considered to be critical to the determination of this appeal". 

CHP Highlands had proposed building a plant fired on 100,000 tonnes per year of locally sourced residual domestic, commercial and industrial waste. The plant had planned capacities of 5.6MWe and 6.5Mth.

Several years ago the Highland Council refused planning permission for the development, but after a public inquiry an official acting for the Scottish government approved the scheme on appeal in November 2012. 

However, a local landowner and the council then launched a legal challenge, which ended successfully in August 2014, meaning the public inquiry would have to reopen and a planning inspector make a final decision. 

In his ruling, issued last week, the inspector felt that "due to its age" the plant’s environmental information needed updating before the process could go any further.  However, CHP (Highlands) "caused undue delay" by "failing"to supply the information "despite being given an additional three months" to do so.

According to the waste sector, England must almost double its EfW capacity by  2035, in order to stop the landfilling of municipal waste. 

Related ENDS Compliance Content

  • Planning Act 2008

    Planning Act 2008

    In force/
    England, Scotland, Wales
    06 Apr 2016


    27/03/2015 Amending Order (SI 2015/949) published.
    10/03/2016 Amending Order (SI 2016/306) published., 16/01/2017 Amending Regulations (SI 2017/16) published, for England and Wales only.
    02/11/2017 Amending Regulations (SI 2017/1012) published.
    10/11/2017 Commencement Order (No. 3) (
    SI 2017/1078) published, for England only., 28/11/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/1232) published.

    Compliance Dates

    26/11/2008 Received Royal Assent, 26/11/2008 Provisions of Parts 1 to 9 (except Section 194(2) to (5) and paragraph 7 of Schedule 7) come into force (see Section 241), 26/11/2008 Part 11, except Sections 206, 211(7), 224 and 225 come into force (see Section 241), 26/11/2008 Part 12, except Section 238, comes into force (see Section 241), 26/01/2009 Sections 194(2) to (5), 201, 202, 203 and 225 (together with related entries in Schedule 13), and paragraph 7 of Schedule 7, come into force (see Section 241)
    01/03/2010 Certain Sections including Sections 15 to 20 and Sections 22 to 26 brought into force by The Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No.4 and Saving) Order 2010 (SI 2010/101)
    06/04/2010 Certain provisions brought into force by the Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No. 5 and Saving) Order 2010 (SI 2010/566)
    06/04/2011 Sections 14(1)(o) and 29 brought into force by the Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No. 6) Order 2011 (SI 2011/705)
    01/10/2011 Sections 14(1)(p), 30 and 153 and Schedule 6 brought into force by the Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No. 7) Order 2011 (SI 2011/2054)
    06/04/2012 Sections 192 and Schedule 8 (tree preservation orders), Section 193 (existing tree preservation orders: transitional provisions), and Section 238 and Schedule 13 (repeals relating to trees specified in the Schedule to SI 2012/601) come into force for, 28/11/2014 Section 198 (appeals relating to old mining permissions) comes into force, in relation to Wales, insofar as it is not already in force (see the Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No. 3) (Wales) Order (
    01/01/2018 Sections 14(1)(m), 14(1)(n), 27 and 28 in relation to dams, reservoirs and the transfer of water resources, enter into force for England only (see SI 2017/1078)



    Energy/climate change General policy Land and development Sustainable development Transport Waste


    OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

    Affected Sectors

    Cross-sector Oil Water Electricity Gas Waste and Cleaning Construction Transport Rail Transport

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