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Background"SITA UK runs a waste management site at Benedict Wharf, Mitcham, South London. The site includes:
- Waste transfer station licensed to handle 275,000 tonnes of waste per year
- Materials recycling facility licensed to handle 54,500 tonnes per year
- Transfer depot
- Maintenance workshops.
Planning applicationFollowing Merton Council’s decision not to grant planning permission for SITA UK’s plans to redevelop the waste site at Benedict Wharf in October 2010, the company revised its proposals to take account of local concerns. The plans were submitted to the Greater London Authority on 14 July 2011 and [have now been approved]. Details of the hearing can be found here: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/planning/public-hearings/sita-recycling-park.
The Mayor of London has the ability to determine planning applications, like SITA UK’s, considered to be of strategic importance to London. Towards the end of 2010, Boris Johnson decided to take over the determination of this application and in the autumn, he will decided to grant planning permission for the proposed development.
To address Merton Council’s and local communities’ concerns about the visual impact of the proposed facility on surrounding areas, we made the following changes:
- The size and footprint of the proposed anaerobic digestion facility has been reduced by more than half.
- The amount of material that the proposed anaerobic digestion facility can process has been decreased from 100,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes per year.
- We have removed plans to develop an in-vessel composting facility.
- The height of the anaerobic digestion stack has reduced from 37 metres to 32 metres.
- The height of the anaerobic digestion tanks has been reduced from 24.5 metres to 15 metres.
- Overall, these changes will result in 20 per cent less traffic in during the second phase of the development than previously proposed.
- An extended materials recycling facility, which would separate and process up to 80,000 tonnes per year.
- An anaerobic digestion facility, which would process up to 40,000 tonnes of catering and food waste per year.
- A waste transfer station that would handle up to 40,000 tonnes per year.
- A new administration building and visitor centre to allow children and members of the public to learn more about recycling and how we generate renewable energy from the waste that we process.
- A new landscaping and environmental improvement scheme around the site."