Keypoint Energy Centre

We are all disappointed by the Government Inspector’s decision to grant permission for the Energy from Waste plant at Keypoint. Summarised below are the rather stringent conditions imposed by the Inspector and what he said about the risk of air pollution. The full report can be found at:

The Report sets out previous research at established sites and government confirmation that this type of plant does not pose a measurable risk to health. Additionally one beneficial outcome from the Appeal is that, in addition to the original proposals, the applicant is to add a filter to the chimney that, it is said, should “reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions in excess of 90% of what they could otherwise have been and would mean that the levels of pollutant emissions would be at least 50% less than the maximum likely to be allowed under a permit.”

With the departure of Honda, who were expected to buy the energy created, and the stringent conditions imposed, it has been questioned whether the plant will in fact get built. We will have to see.


Extracts from Conditions to Grant of Permission (Condition number is given in brackets. SBC means Swindon Borough Council.)

  1. Development must begin within 3 years (1)
  2. Facing materials & colour to be agreed by SBC (4,5)
  3. Permission needed for strategy on ‘piling’ during construction (6)
  4. Chimney height <52 m above finished floor level (7)
  5. Noise restrictions (from the plant/B8 warehouse). Must be monitored by the operators and, if found to be above predicted, must inform SBC and provide plan for reduction (8)
  6. Construction noise monitoring in condition 9. Hours 7am to 6pm mon-Fri 7am to 1pm Sat, no working on Sunday or bank holidays.
  7. Categorisation – because the application could not specify the technology, developer must submit verification that the facility has achieved Stage R1 Status with the Environment Agency to SBC for approval (12)
  8. Only non-hazardous residual waste can be used as feedstock fuel – no raw waste. (13). Maximum volume of fuel input per year is 150,000 tonnes.(19)
  9. Landscaping scheme to be approved by SBC – maintained for 10 years, not the usual 5 (14)
  10. Litter control scheme and dust control scheme, both reviewed bi-annually, must be approved by SBC (20, 21). All vehicles transporting waste must be fully enclosed or sheeted (21.ii)
  11. Smell control scheme to be agreed by SBC, reviewed bi-annually (22)
  12. Lighting scheme to be approved by SBC (23)
  13. On-site Selective Catalytic Reduction to control nitrous oxide gas– scheme must be approved by SBC (26 – see extracted paras below that explain that this is part of the solution for Bodleian Library. The other part is work at Library itself which cannot be made part of the conditions, but Is the subject of a separate deed whereby the developer pays Bodleian to install it at the book facility)
  14. Community Liaison Scheme, approved by SBC before the plant is in use, for complaints etc (27 details must be given about elections, membership etc – no mention in the condition of profit share scheme as originally proposed)
  15. Carbon emissions report on the chosen gasification technology must prove to SBC that the facility will lead to a reduction of carbon emissions (28)