Integrated Waste Management Facility, Rivenhall Airfield

Integrated Waste Management Facility, Rivenhall Airfield

Today Gent Fairhead, owners of the Rivenhall Airfield site, have made an application to the Environment Agency seeking a variation to its existing Environmental Permit.  Gent Fairhead’s application proposes to implement an advanced form of the emission abatement technologies; along with tighter operational controls that are widely used on similar European facilities, to reduce the height of the stack from 58m to 35m and align its Environmental Permit to its existing (and implemented) planning permission.

As a result, the impact of the emissions from the lower 35-metre stack will be the same as those approved by the Environment Agency for a higher 58-metre stack.

The new technology and method of operation will be an improvement to the existing Environmental Permit. Once the Environment Agency has validated and confirmed that the application has been “duly made”, it will commence its assessment and public consultation.  A decision is anticipated early next year.

In its decision document granting the IWMF’s Environmental Permit for the 58 m stack; the Environment Agency stated; “…even with a stack height of 35 metres we were satisfied that no air quality or human health thresholds would have been exceeded”.

In a separate but parallel process, Gent Fairhead has submitted additional information to Essex County Council in support of its existing planning application(s) (Ref Nos: ESS/36/17/BTE and ESS/37/17/BTE) to increase the height of its stack by 23m (from 35m to 58m) which are intended to align its planning permission to the existing Environmental Permit.  This information highlights the overwhelming need for the IWMF. It also addresses a number of points that have been raised by objectors. These points relate to the proposed change in the height of the stack.

Steven Smith, a spokesman on behalf of Gent Fairhead’s project team said:

“These are two separate processes although clearly related in their objective. Gent Fairhead is seeking planning permission and environmental permit that are aligned so that construction may continue on site. The new information submitted to the Environment Agency justifies a variation of its existing Environmental Permit to a 35-metre stack. But as this has yet to be approved, the company has also submitted independent assessments to Essex County Council as part of the planning process that proves the need for the plant in Essex and the limited additional impact from increasing the stack height from 35 metres to 58 metres. Construction will restart on the IWMF following approval of the application(s) by either the Environment Agency or Essex County Council.”  

The site at Rivenhall will be developed to receive and recover a range of wastes and recyclable materials and generate ‘green’ power by exporting electricity to the local grid.   

The information submitted to the Environment Agency and Essex County Council will be available on the project’s website.

Notes to Editors

To operate, the Rivenhall IWMF needs both planning permission from Essex County Council and an environmental permit from the Environment Agency. These are separate and distinct processes and planning permission can be granted without the environmental permit and vice versa.

The planning system addresses the acceptability of a proposed development in terms of the use of the land; location; the need for a facility; the amount of waste generated as well as wider issues, such as the visual impact. The Environmental Permitting Regulations address the design and operation of the process to prevent pollution and minimise impacts on the environment and human health.


Media Contact: Steven Smith 07854 054304