FRESH plans have been submitted to build a major £180 million energy from waste plant in south Wirral.

Biossence originally received planning permission to build a renewable energy facility at Hooton Park, between Eastham and Ellesmere Port, in 2009 but the company now wants to change its scheme to use a more advanced gasification technology to get energy from waste.

The plant - which, if approved will be known as Hooton Park Sustainable Energy Facility – will accept 400,000 tonnes commercial and pre-processed municipal waste a year, which will either be delivered directly into the gasification process or go through an on-site sorting process to remove valuable recyclable material.

Wirral Globe:
An artists impression of the proposed energy from waste plant.

New plans show Biossence wants to make amendments to the approved scheme which, although they do not alter the description of the approved development or use of the land, do require new planning permission.

The changes would mean a taller building than has already been approved by planners, with the chimney also increasing from 45m to 80m.

Concerns have already been raised about the scheme.

Eastham councillor Phil Gilchrist told the Globe he had read the 400 page report submitted to the council and felt that although some of the concerns had been addressed, others still needed to be looked at.

He said: “Local people were rightly concerned about the risk of pollution from the first plant – it relied on a process only tried on a small scale.

“Concern about stray traffic has been understood and tackled so I think we can be satisfied on that one.

“The new process does appear different and is being used abroad.”

The Lib Dem leader said the document submitted Wirral’s planners contains “pages and pages of data” suggesting that the new process “will produce little more than vapour”.

He said: “These need close scrutiny around their assumptions. We need assurances that, as the saying goes, it does what it says on the tin.

“The building is chunkier than the first plant and I think more thought needs to be given to landscaping aspect, with planting to screen it from a distance.”

If approved, construction is due to begin in early 2015.