The founder of a company bidding to create a new specialist treatment facility in Newton Aycliffe says it will create sustainable jobs and help power the health service.
Fornax Environmental Solutions has applied to Durham County Council to build the factory, which would treat hazardous wastes and recover energy, on a two-hectare site at Merchant Park, adjacent to Hitachi Rail’s factory along Heighington Lane, on Aycliffe Business Park.
The plans – illustrated in a CGI (above) – and lack of communication from the local authority to nearby residents had been met with anger from the public.
The consultation period has now been extended to June 12.
Fornax Environmental Solutions says the development is safe – and would be monitored by the Environment Agency.
And founder/chairman of the firm Mark Roberts – who has other green energy business interests in Harrogate, North Yorkshire – says the development would help to reduce local carbon footprint.
He told Aycliffe Today: “The facility will support the NHS alongside hospitals, doctor surgeries, nursing homes, and other medical facilities in the North-East.
“Merchant Park benefits from an implemented planning permission for business and industrial uses together with an energy recovery centre which mirrors the sustainable energy centre now envisaged within the emerging proposals.
“The facility has also been designed to enable energy from the waste process to be recovered and distributed to other nearby businesses.”
On Fornax’s website, the firm adds: “Most of our target waste is currently being transported hundreds of miles, creating a considerable carbon footprint, and being treated in ageing facilities with their own considerable carbon footprints.
“The process used is safe and proven in similar facilities already operating within the UK.
“It would be monitored by the Environment Agency through an Environmental Permit and we will continually self-monitor through the in-built automated state-of-the-art technology.
“The facility would aim to recover the available heat produced during the process to use within the facility.
“The project has also been designed with the ability to provide residual heat to neighbouring industrial users should it be practically and commercially possible to do so.”
Formax says it expects to create around 27 full-time jobs when complete, and its construction would support 75 jobs.
“It will also create many opportunities for a wide range of local suppliers and supply chains,” the firm adds.
Fornax Environmental Solutions is backed by the British Strategic Equity Fund, a £300m fund managed by Gresham House and made up of seven local authority pension funds including the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the West Midlands Pension Fund.
“The team has a proven track record of developing a wide range of sustainable infrastructure projects contributing to carbon offset, growing year by year, and contributing significantly towards the UK’s net zero carbon goals and the creation of a sustainable low-carbon economy,” it says on their website.
“As a signatory to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, Gresham House is committed to operating responsibly and sustainably and believes that taking the long view in delivering sustainable investment solutions.”
More details are available at fornaxmerchantpark.co.uk.
To register your comments on the proposal, click here and in the search bar type in DM/21/01500/WAS.