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Controversial energy plant could still be built in West Bromwich

By George Makin | West Bromwich | News | Published:

A controversial plant that can turn waste into energy may still be built after developers lodged an appeal to an independent planning inspector.

An artist impression of Versus Oak Energy proposed waste power plant

Verus Energy Oak Ltd is trying to overturn a decision by Sandwell Council to reject a proposal to build a 10,000 square meter facility at the Giffords Recycling site in West Bromwich.

Councillors denied the development planning permission in June last year

The plans would have allowed the company to incinerate industrial and household waste, turning it into electricity to power tens of thousands of homes each year.

Despite being recommended by planning officers, the development next to the M5 was rejected over noise and traffic fears.

A Verus Energy Oak spokesman confirmed in October, the company was considering appealing the decision to a government appointed independent planning officer.

It says the £200 million plant would create 40 jobs and putting £1 million in wages into the local economy.

Opponents collected a 500 signature petition opposing the scheme previously and won the backing of the MP for West Bromwich East, Tom Watson.

Councillor Jackie Taylor, who represents the Greets Green and Lyng ward where the plant would be built, was a member of the planning committee which rejected the plans and says she stands by the decision to refuse permission.

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“There are a number of reasons why I was opposed to this including emissions from the plant and we as part of the Black country have a cleaner greener agenda.

“Also the time the plant was going to operate and the use of heavy vehicles accessing the site which wasn’t conducive to local residents in the area.”

She added that if residents can make representations to the planning inspector they should do so.

“People feel very strongly about this and they should do whatever it takes, they should be representing themselves and I will be representing them also. “

A date for the appeal to be heard as yet to be set.

Verus Energy Oak have been contacted for comment.

George Makin

By George Makin
@GeorgePMakin

Local Democracy Reporter covering Sandwell and Dudley.

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