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£120million Keighley recycling plant scheme to create 550 jobs
A £120 million “clean energy” complex will bring about 550 jobs to Keighley, it has been revealed.
The potential major boost to the local economy has been welcomed by community leaders.
Three plants for recycling waste would be constructed on the derelict former gas works site in Airedale Road, alongside the Aire Valley trunk road at Marley.
The pioneering scheme would also include an education and visitor centre, plus a four-storey office building, parking and landscaping.
A data storage centre and offices would be built in nearby Dalton Lane.
Already-processed commercial and industrial waste will be brought to the plants, which together will be capable of producing 80,000,000 kWh of electricity a year – virtually enough to power the whole town.
Behind the pioneering scheme is the Halton Group, which owns the sites and intends submitting a full planning application to Bradford Council later this month.
The proposals will then go before the regulatory and appeals committee, probably in February.
If the project is approved, work could start next autumn and the complex be operational by the end of 2016.
Three hundred jobs would be created during the construction phase, and once operational 80 people would be employed in the plants and 170 in the offices.
Plans for the initiative were put on display in Keighley Civic Centre last recently to give the public the chance to view them and provide feedback.
Among those present were agent John Steel, of JO Steel Consulting, and representatives of the architects Halliday Clark.
“The vast majority of comments we received were favourable – we are very pleased with the reaction,” said Mr Steel. “People have been completing feedback forms, which will be extremely helpful to us. And there will be further opportunity for public comment during the planning process.”
Concerns raised included emissions from the site and the type of waste being handled.
Nick Pearce, of Halliday Clark, said the facility would operate within tightly-defined air quality requirements set by the Environment Agency. He said the processed waste being brought to the complex would comprise plastics, building materials and tyre crumbs.
The electricity produced would go into the national grid.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Khadim Hussain, a Keighley Central councillor, said the scheme would produce many benefits.
“It will regenerate a currently derelict site, provide a huge jobs boost and bring clean energy,” he said. “It’s a very ambitious vision and a complex operation but can only be good for the people of Keighley.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins also pledged his support.
“These plans represent a magnificent opportunity for Keighley, both with regard to clean energy creation but also in terms of inward investment and job creation,” he said.
“The town needs this boost and I hope the new plant will prove to be a catalyst for more investment from other sources as Keighley’s profile is raised.”
Town mayor Coun Sally Walker also welcomed the project.
“It is something that’s relatively new in this country and I like the idea of us being at the forefront,” she said.
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