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Planners press button for new Keighley energy plant
Plans for a £120 million clean energy complex in Keighley – which will bring about 500 jobs to the town – are set to be given the green light.
The massive scheme will go before Bradford councillors next week, with a recommendation from planners that it be approved.
Officers – in a report to be presented to the regulatory and appeals committee next Thursday – say the pioneering project would regenerate a brownfield site, provide a source of renewable energy and give the area a huge employment boost.
Three plants for recycling waste would be constructed on the derelict former gasworks site in Airedale Road, alongside the Aire Valley trunk road at Marley.
The initiative would also include an education and visitor centre, plus a two-storey office building, parking and landscaping. A data-storage centre and offices would be built on land 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.
If the project gets the go ahead, work could start in the 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 about 100 in the offices.
Keighley Central councillor and Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Khadim Hussain said the scheme would be “excellent news” for the town and the Bradford district.
“I welcome the fact that it is recommended for approval,” he said.
“This clean-energy plant will be good for the environment, help with the regeneration of the area and create employment.”
The processed waste brought to the complex would comprise plastics, building materials and tyre crumbs.
The electricity produced will go into the national grid.
And the facility would operate within tightly defined air-quality requirements set by the Environment Agency.
Agent for the plans, John Steel, of JO Steel Consulting, said: “A very comprehensive report which addresses all the issues is going before the regulatory and appeals committee and we will await the decision of the members.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “The Keighley economy has been improving steadily for some time, and this scheme has the potential to move the pace of recovery up a gear.
“It has my full support and I hope – if approved – the construction stage can begin as swiftly as possible, creating a great many vital jobs for the area.”
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