Green light for Covanta’s incinerator plan at Rookery Pit near Stewartby

A former protest against Covanta at Stewartby Village Hall
A former protest against Covanta at Stewartby Village Hall

Plans for a 105-metre-high incinerator in rural Bedfordshire have been given the go-ahead.

Covanta Energy Ltd have been granted a permit for their site at Rookery pit in Stewartby, on the edge of the Millennium Country Park.

Construction of the incinerator, which will include a 105-metre-high stack, is planned to start later this year.

Nicola Ryan-Raine, of Bedfordshire Against Covanta Incinerator (BACI), said: “This is happening despite many considered and relevant environmental points, made by thousands of residents and interested parties.

“The Environment 
Agency’s permitting and 
consultation process has been a constant eye opener, during which it became increasingly apparent to BACI that there is a conflict of interest between the Environment Agency’s role of issuing permits to 
customers and their wider protection of the environment.

“Our experience is that the Environment Agency view has treated Covanta as the ‘paying’ customer, and the concerned public purely as irritants or a nuisance.”

The Covanta saga goes back to 2008.

Ironically the now-defunct Bedfordshire County Council had been planning to build an energy from waste power station, which could burn 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, at Rookery Pit.

But they were trumped when renewable resources company Covanta made a surprise decision to apply directly to the government for permission to build a 600,000-tonne plant.

Council bosses at the time said the move by Covanta had come “out of the blue”.

Bedford and Kempston 
MP Mohammad Yasin said: ‘This decision isn’t wholly 
unexpected – but it is 
completely wrong.

“Covanta’s rejection of concerns about the 
environmental impact of this vast eyesore are far from 
convincing, and the incinerator is unwelcome.”

BACI are continuing their work against the incinerator plans. Visit https://