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Powerfuel submits Regulation 25 responses for Portland ERF

Powerfuel has submitted additional information to Dorset Council’s planning department as part of its application to build an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) on a brownfield site at Portland Port. 

Dorset Council submitted a Regulation 25 request on 30 April 2021, which asked for further information to supplement Powerfuel’s planning application, which was submitted in September 2020. 

The Regulation 25 process is used to gather more information from an applicant when further data is required to enable the planning department to make a reasoned conclusion on a particular planning application. The further information Powerfuel has submitted will now be reviewed by Dorset Council’s planning department and will then be subject to a period of further public consultation before the application goes to committee. 

Giles Frampton, Director, Powerfuel, said: “A Regulation 25 request is standard procedure for infrastructure applications of this nature. It enables the Planning Authority to request further detailed information on particular aspects of the application, which in turn allows the applicant to elaborate on and fine-tune its application. The key purpose is to have as much information as possible to allow the Planning Committee to make a considered decision and Powerfuel was happy to comply with the Council’s request.” 

The additional studies and reports cover a number of areas, and rebut claims made by opponents of the scheme. In particular, the new work has demonstrated that: 

 

There is a clear need for this facility in Dorset to enable Dorset Council to manage its own waste rather than exporting it out of the county and country.

The ERF would provide a lower carbon solution for dealing with Dorset waste, reducing landfill gas emissions and excess transport emissions compared to today. 

The plume from the ERF will only be visible for around 24 hours per year – 0.55% of daylight hours.

With the introduction of shore power to the Port, there will be an overall reduction in exposure to particulate matter in the area when the ERF is operating by reducing the current level of emissions from ships at the Port. In addition, the offsetting of shipping emissions will lead to a negligible increase in net emissions. The subsequent changes in health would not be discernible in the population and will not result in a single additional case of any of the health outcomes considered. 

The visual impact of the ERF will be negligible in relation to the existing activity at the Port and on the Island.

 

Further information has also been provided on the potential for a district heat network, providing further sustainability benefits from the ERF, along with details of a plan to open up the ‘Around the Island’ footpath, and the commitment to prioritise Dorset waste arisings. 

Instead of contributing to the UK’s continued reliance on landfill, the proposed ERF will use waste as a fuel to produce 15MW of low carbon energy, enough to power around 30,000 homes. The ERF will be developed on an existing brownfield site at Portland Port, that has previously been consented for a facility to produce power from rubber crumb and palm oil.