Plans for ‘pyrolysis’ waste plant in Lanarkshire survive legal challenge

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PLANS for a “pyrolysis” waste plant in Lanarkshire which provoked thousands of objections from residents and the local MSP have survived a legal challenge.

Shore Energy want to develop the former Shanks & McEwan landfill site at Carnbroe, Coatbridge, to create a waste recovery and renewable energy facility - a pyrolysis plant - and won the backing of planning officials at North Lanarkshire Council.

However, in spite of the recommendation by officials to grant planning permission, the council refused after receiving 4,298 objections, mainly from Monklands Residents Against Pyrolysis Plant (MRAPP) and the Labour MSP, Elaine Smith.

The dispute next went before two reporters appointed by Scottish Ministers, and they overturned the council’s decision and granted planning permission.

In response, the council took an appeal against the reporters’ ruling to the Court of Session in Edinburgh, where Lord Stewart issued his judgment yesterday. (Tuesday)

Lord Stewart said: “I emphasise that my powers under the statutory appeal procedure are restricted to determining whether the decison made by the reporters is within the powers conferred by the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997. I am not required or entitled to address the merits of the planning decision.”

The council had contended that the reporters departed from government policy, but Lord Stewart said he rejected the submission.

“In essence, the reporters decided the appeal on the basis that there was a need for the proposed development in national terms, and that site-specific, locational objections were not of sufficient weight to justify refusal,” added Lord Stewart.