Friday, 5 April 2013

Leeds waste treatment facility granted official planning permission

The final stages of the planning process for the city’s waste treatment facility have been completed and planning permission has been officially granted.

The planning application for the ‘Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility’ was approved by Leeds City Council’s plans panel in February 2013 and Veolia has now agreed the associated conditions and legal agreements with the planning authority.

This will move Veolia a step closer to construction of the plant, currently expected to start in August 2013.
The facility, to be built on the Cross Green Industrial Estate, will provide Leeds with a long-term solution to waste going to landfill. Up to 214,000 tonnes of Leeds’ black bin waste will go through the facility a year.

Recyclable materials will be removed with the remainder being incinerated. The process will generate enough electricity to power up to 20,000 homes.

Reflecting their joint commitment to the local community, Veolia has agreed to make a significant sum of money available annually to support projects in the local area that provide sustainable benefits. Veolia has also agreed to share any excess money made from selling electricity and recyclable materials with the council, a significant proportion of which would also be used to support local projects.

The contract between Leeds City Council and Veolia has now been published on the council’s website.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

“These are really significant milestones for a project that will save us around £200 million compared to the cost of landfilling waste over the lifetime of the contract.

“This is an important long-term partnership and when we take into account other improvements to waste services that we’re making, we can confidently say that we are delivering a sustainable plan to make Leeds cleaner and greener.”

Paul Fowler, Veolia Environmental Services’ Leeds General Manager said:

“As well as the financial and environmental savings the facility will bring to the city, we’re committed to providing a boost to the local economy through job creation.

“Around three hundred temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase of the facility. Once operational there will be around 45 permanent posts, both technical and non-technical, and we’re working closely with Leeds City Council to deliver opportunities for apprenticeships, work placements and work experience schemes for local people.”

Veolia and its partners will also support the city’s economy by buying available equipment, materials and services from Leeds businesses where possible so local companies will benefit from the facility.

Veolia are committed to working with local residents as part of the community liaison group. Residents and other stakeholders are invited to join to hear updates on the project as construction starts right through to its operational phase.

Local residents interested in joining the community liaison group can contact or call 0800 085 8980.

Notes to editors:
A copy of the contract between Leeds City Council and Veolia can be found at


Amanda Burns
Senior communications officer
Leeds City Council
0113 395 1577


Kevin Parker
Regional Communications Manager
Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Plc Tel : 07909 883 226

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Statement regarding the current position on the children's heart surgery unit at Leeds General Infirmary

Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

"The safety of the very poorly children being treated at the LGI is my paramount concern. I therefore welcome the reassurance that has been provided in response to concerns raised last week, which is enabling surgery to resume. While the hospital is confident about the unit’s performance, it is right to seek extra reassurance, particularly for the families involved, from this weekend’s independent assessment. I very much hope surgeries will begin again next week and the unit can get back to providing world-class healthcare and saving lives.

"A huge amount of hard work has been carried out in recent days to address the issues raised by the temporary closure so I’d like to thank everyone involved, particularly staff and patients, for all their efforts, which have led to these critically-important services being restored."

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Time running out for energy switch sign up

The clock is ticking for householders planning to join the region’s largest communal energy switch programme.

So far more than 3,000 homes have signed-up for the Community Energy Direct fuel switch but more are expected as the 17 April deadline gets closer.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:

“People shouldn’t be put off switching energy supplier – Community Energy Direct do all the hard work for you and by signing up you have nothing to lose. In fact, we hope Leeds residents will have a lot to gain as they could save a significant chunk of money by simply switching suppliers with us.

“With more people on board, we stand a better chance of negotiating a more favourable deal so don’t leave it to the last minute to sign up; do it today.”

Hugh Goulbourne, director at Community Energy Direct said:

“Similar schemes elsewhere in the country have always seen a late rush of people and we expect the same to happen in the six areas where we are working.

“However, rather than wait until the last few days we recommend people join now rather than later to avoid any last minute unforeseen complications.

“There are some significant savings to be made for people, especially those who have never changed their gas or electricity supplier.”

Community Energy Direct is backed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and is working with local authorities and housing associations in Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds, Rochdale, Wakefield and York.

Households can join the community energy switch by visiting or by joining local advice sessions being held across the region.

The scheme is free and without commitment with householders simply entering their latest energy data. After the deadline has passed the consumer organisation Which? will negotiate with energy suppliers to source the best deals available in the market. Individuals are then given the details of the best deal for them with the option to accept it or to remain with their current arrangements.

Community Energy Direct predicts average savings of £115 per year for those who join the scheme.

Note to editors:
  • Community Energy Direct is based in Leeds. For more information visit
  • Energy regulator Ofgem predicts that energy prices will rise by 60% to 2016 and that the number of homes in fuel poverty (spending more than 10% of household income on energy) will rise from 13% to 16% in the same timeframe.
  • A community energy co-operative approach enables local people, within a distinct area, to join together and hold an `auction’ with energy providers to source the best possible deal for its members.
  • Community Energy Direct is working in six local authority areas across northern England to drive down energy prices for thousands of households.
  • Based on studies of previous energy switching initiatives, Community Energy Direct expects households to save up to £115 per year on their fuel costs.
  • Which? is a consumer champion. It works to make things better for consumers. Its advice helps them make informed decisions; its campaigns make people’s lives fairer, simpler and safer; its services and products put consumers’ needs first to bring them better value.

For media enquiries please contact:
John O’Grady, 07805 933324
Community Energy Direct

Amanda Burns, 0113 395 1577
Leeds City Council