Braintree District Council publishes Rivenhall Integrated Waste Management Facility consultation response

Braintree District Council publishes Rivenhall Integrated Waste Management Facility consultation response

Braintree District Council’s planning team response to the Environment Agency’s public consultation

Braintree District Council’s planning team has submitted its response to the Environment Agency’s public consultation on the environmental permit for the Rivenhall Integrated Waste Management Facility.

Braintree District Council has objected on numerous occasions to the proposed development of an Integrated Waste Management Facility. It strongly objected to the principle of the scheme in 2008 and council officers gave evidence at the subsequent public inquiry that eventually led to the Secretary of State granting planning permission for a facility of this type at the site. Braintree District Council continued to object to more recent planning applications, made to Essex County Council, which have sought to implement an amended scheme. 

The Environment Agency announced on January 2, 2020 that it is proposing to accept the environmental permit application received from Gent Fairhead & Co Limited for Rivenhall Integrated Waste Management Facility subject to public consultation. The public consultation ran from 9 January to 6 February 2020.

The Environment Agency had previously refused an earlier application for an environmental permit in December 2016.

Cllr Gabrielle Spray, Cabinet Member for Planning at Braintree District Council, said: “We are very frustrated that this incinerator might go ahead despite such a long and complex history. It has been more than a decade since the Secretary of State granted planning permission and given the changes to the scheme we would have liked to have seen more consultation with the public to better consider their concerns. I fully understand and share residents’ worries especially around air pollution. Within our consultation response we have asked the Environment Agency to consider imposing conditions requiring additional air quality checks are put in place to make sure that if the incinerator has to go ahead then additional rigorous, independent air quality checks are carried out to provide local residents with reassurance that the operation of the incinerator does not expose them to dangerous air quality.”  

The Integrated Waste Management Facility requires planning permission and an Environmental Permit to operate.

Braintree District Council has no statutory power to grant or refuse either planning permission or the environmental permit.

Planning permission for the development has been granted by the Secretary of State and Essex County Council* and the environmental permit required to operate the plant is issued by the Environment Agency.

  • Full details of the permit variation application was available on GOV.UK

*The Waste Planning Authority operates independently from the County Council in determining applications like this.