Huge cost to many local authorities if Heathrow does not relocate Lakeside waste incinerator
Date added: December 8, 2017
The proposed Heathrow 3rd runway would require the demolition of the Lakeside waste incinerator. Heathrow has made no effort so far to ensure this is relocated. If there is a period without an incinerator, local authorities would have to spend many millions of £s on landfill tax (£86.10 per tonne) to dispose of waste that the Lakeside plant would have dealt with. In their submission to the Transport Committee, Grundon and Viridor say: “The revised draft NPS fails to address the planning policy vacuum that businesses like Lakeside face in trying to relocate in advance of Heathrow securing consent.This vacuum needs to be filled for the benefit of all of those businesses threatened by the new runway … the draft NPS still fails to provide any explicit support for the relocation of the Lakeside EfW or the associated complex. Indeed, if the Lakeside EfW and the waste complex as a whole were not replaced, given the lack of acceptable alternatives, the direct consequences would be disruptive and financially harmful to the local authorities that rely upon the services provided. … the revised NPS should state: The Government recognises the role of the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant in local waste management plans. The applicant should make all reasonable endeavours to replace the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant.” . Tweet
No site has been found to which to relocate the incinerator. It was a long, difficult process locating the current site, as incinerators are not popular neighbours. The Lakeside Energy from Waste plant (ie. waste incinerator) deals with waste from numerous local authorities – including some – such as Slough – which support Heathrow’s 3rd runway plans.
However, if there was no incinerator – or a long gap between Lakeside closing and a new one opening – the local authorities would have to pay landfill tax for waste that would otherwise have been incinerated much more cheaply. This cost could run to several million £s per year. Landfill tax is currently £86.10 per tonne of waste that is not inert.
The written evidence submitted to the Transport Select Committee inquiry on the Airports NPS, by Lakeside Energy from Waste Ltd, Grundon Waste Management and Viridor (NPS0005)
8. Lakeside EfW must be offered the same level of importance as the IRCs given the essential role it plays in the smooth running of the regional waste management system and the reliance upon it of thirteen local authorities, for example. As with the IRCs, there must be no disruption to the services provided by Lakeside EfW as there are no realistic, environmentally acceptable alternatives.
9. The revised draft NPS fails to address the planning policy vacuum that businesses like Lakeside face in trying to relocate in advance of Heathrow securing consent.This vacuum needs to be filled for the benefit of all of those businesses threatened by the new runway.
10. The revised draft NPS was published on 24 October 2017 and is subject to consultation until 19 December. Despite the Airports Commission’s recommendations,the draft NPS still fails to provide any explicit support for the relocation of the Lakeside EfW or the associated complex.
11. Indeed, if the Lakeside EfW and the waste complex as a whole were not replaced, given the lack of acceptable alternatives, the direct consequences would be disruptive and financially harmful to the local authorities that rely upon the services provided.
12. The Airports Commission was unequivocal that the Lakeside plant should be replaced – “its replacement is necessary”. Therefore, the revised NPS should state: The Government recognises the role of the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant in local waste management plans. The applicant should make all reasonable endeavours to replace the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant.
The list of all the submissions to the Transport Select Committee inquiry into the Airports NPS (ie. Heathrow runway) is at
Lakeside incinerator plant would need to move, at Heathrow’s expense, if runway is built
November 3, 2016
Grundon and Viridor’s Colnbrook incinerator at Lakeside Road would have to be demolished for a Heathrow north west runway. This, as well as local roads and the M25, are significant obstacles to the runway plan. The issue of how much Heathrow will pay for this is being negotiated. Early in 2015, Heathrow was reported to have struck a deal with Grundon and Slough Borough Council to overcome the risk to delivery of a runway, agreeing that the incinerator would be moved a short distance away, onto (Green Belt) land already owned by Grundon. It is not clear this is correct. Heathrow said it was preparing a “joint feasibility study”. Heathrow said in 2015 that “NATS have given an initial opinion that the site is suitable for accommodating the height of flue stack required (75m).” Three of the four lakes at Colnbrook Lakeside are now set to be lost, due to the runway. In order that the incinerator remains open all the time, with no gap, building would need to start at least 3 years before being operational. But the runway might never get the go ahead … It is reported that discussions are taking place on payment of the multi-million costs of relocation. Adam Afriyie revealed in Parliament in 2015 that the government would not be paying. Robert Goodwill said it would be “a matter for the airport to take forward with the owners of the site.”
Plans to find an alternative location for a Berkshire incinerator have begun after the government’s announcement that it has approved a third runway at Heathrow.
Following a cabinet meeting today (25 October), the government stated that Heathrow, and not Gatwick, is its preferred option for the expansion of the UK’s airport capacity, causing issues for Lakeside Energy from Waste Ltd, a joint venture between Grundon Waste Management and Viridor, situated on the site of the proposed runway.
The Lakeside EfW facility
The plant would need to be moved to accommodate the runway and, responding to the announcement, the company said it will seek to ensure that the Lakeside EfW facility, and Grundon’s waste management and recycling facilities located within its Colnbrook complex, can be relocated to a nearby site.The company says that it will seek to move the facility on a ‘like-for-like’ basis, and will work with Heathrow and its surrounding local authorities to find a suitable site with ‘minimum disruption’.
The facility processes commercial and local authority waste from Slough, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell and the West London Waste Authority. The Lakeside company says that ‘any closure of the facility without a like-for-like replacement in the local area would be disruptive and financially damaging to these authorities’.
It adds that the incinerator, which opened in 2010, currently processes over 450,000 tonnes of waste a year, generating 37 megawatts of power, ‘enough to provide electricity to every household in Slough’. Including the Grundon facilities, the Colnbrook complex employs over 200 people, ‘with many more jobs dependent on it within the local supply chain’.
The Lakeside site is situated where the west end of the new runway is due to be built
Graphic: Airports Commission
The company will have some time to find a new site as it will likely be years before construction is even ready to begin on the runway, should it happen at all. A public consultation will be held on the airport expansion before the government makes a final decision. An MP vote will follow at the end of 2017 and the Airports Commission has said that construction would not begin until 2020 at the earliest.Even with the government’s backing, the construction of the runway is not yet certain, and several prominent figures have questioned its feasibility, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, MP for nearby Uxbridge and South Ruislip, whose plans for an airport on the Thames Estuary have frequently been shot down, calling the project ‘undeliverable’.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also said that he will be challenging the decision in the coming months due to the potential impacts on air quality and noise pollution on residents in West London. Khan’s rival in this year’s mayoral election and Environmental Audit Committee member Zac Goldsmith has also criticised the plans, saying he will resign as MP for Richmond Park following the “catastrophic” decision.