Part of a network of proposed facilities, the Darwen Anaerobic Digestion Facility would turn food waste into green energy, could create jobs in the town and reduce reliance on landfill in the North West.
With this new planning permission granted and a previous permission already in place for an energy-from-waste facility, SUEZ said it is now well placed to promptly build whichever facility is the most appropriate to meet the future needs of Darwen, Blackburn and the wider region when the detail of government reforms to waste and recycling policy is announced.
The anaerobic digestion facility, which would be built on the site of the company’s existing resource recovery park at Lower Eccleshill Road in Darwen, would produce enough biomethane every day to power almost 7,000 homes and reduce the reliance on gas derived from fossil fuel origin in the area.
The plans also include a new transfer station for the Lower Eccleshill Road site alongside the anaerobic digestion facility. Both elements will sit within the existing footprint of the current facility and enable a more efficient waste processing operation for potentially Blackburn, Darwen, Lancashire and other parts of the North West.
Regional director north for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, Steve Patterson welcomed the decision by the authority: “Approval for this facility means that we will be able to respond quickly to develop the most appropriate facility to meet Blackburn with Darwen’s future needs when government policy and market conditions are clearer.
“We are delighted with this decision that will allow us to invest in and modernise our Lower Eccleshill Road site to create local jobs and develop a facility that would provide a local solution for food waste that produces renewable energy and can deliver nutrients back to the soil.”
Cllr Quesir Mahmood, Exec Member for Growth at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said: “We are incredibly pleased to see the planning application for this site approved and look forward to working closely with SUEZ as it develops.
“The site will bring innovative and sustainable technologies to our borough, spotlighting Darwen as a leading example within this field.”