Campaigners against a proposed power plant in Northampton are set to hold a protest at the Guildhall next week, as the borough council’s cabinet votes on whether to grant a two-year option to the firm wanting to build it.
The authority says it has reached a commercial agreement with Rolton Kilbride for a two-year option on the Westbridge depot in St James Mill Road.
Rolton wants to build a £160 million power plant on the site, currently owned by the borough council and home to both its waste disposal depot - operated by Amey - and Northampton Partnership Homes.
A report is set to go before the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, June 8, outlining the proposed offer and the conditions under which it would be made.
If the property deal is agreed, Rolton Kilbride will have an opportunity, during the two-year period, to submit a planning application, secure other approvals and carry out “appropriate public consultation”.
The borough council’s cabinet member for regeneration Councillor Tim Hadland, said: “This would allow Rolton Kilbride to proceed with its plans with a degree of certainty that, pending planning approval, the scheme could go ahead.
“This could provide the best option for the taxpayers of Northampton, but is something that will have to be considered carefully by cabinet next week.”
However the No Monster Incinerator in Northampton group is calling on people to attend a protest before the meeting takes place on June 8, between 5pm and 5.15pm on the steps of the Guildhall.
A statement on the group’s Facebook page reads: “For those who wish you can stop and listen to the meeting, or if not your presence between 5pm and 6pm is still very welcome.
“We hope NBC (Northampton Borough Council) will think again and end this charade now, we are in this for the long run no matter what it takes, but with a bit of courage the local Northampton councillors could stop this now before their county council colleagues walk all over our local democracy.”
The county council predicts it would make substantial savings if the plant, powered by non-recyclable waste, were built.
It is also set to decide on the planning application.
Under the terms of the option agreement, if the waste to energy facility were to go ahead, Rolton Kilbride would first need to identify an appropriate site for a new waste depot and provide these at its own expense before it could take possession of the existing depot site.
There is a clause in the agreement which would allow Northampton Borough Council to extend the option for a further period if necessary.