PLANS are underway to divert even more waste away from landfill to a new energy plant in Lostock.

The Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed by the end of 2023, was granted consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act in 2012 and will cost a total of £480m.

However, LSEP Ltd, the company behind it, is looking to vary the existing planning consent to allow the facility to better cater for treating locally generated waste, by dealing with an additional 128,000 tonnes of waste a year, while

remaining within the currently approved power generation capacity.

The facility will export 69.9MW of sustainable energy from the residual waste remaining once recycling has taken place – enough to power 148,000 homes or a town three times the size of Northwich and Winsford.

LSEP Ltd, which is a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and FCC Environment, acquired the project in 2017 and is proposing to apply to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to vary the Section 36 consent.

In the event that approval is secured, a Community Fund will be set up which will provide £100,000 a year for ten years to support environmental and low carbon projects in the local area, totalling £1 million.

A spokesperson from LSEP Ltd said: "The LSEP will address two major challenges - how to manage our waste more sustainably, moving it up the Waste Hierarchy, and how to generate sustainable energy from non-fossil fuel energy.

Northwich Guardian: These drone images show the construction of the new energy plant underway, with work expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

"We plan to treat up to 728,000 tonnes of waste remaining after recycling which will result in 69.9MW of sustainable electricity being exported to the grid.

"The LSEP is currently under construction, the increase in treatment capacity will not alter the currently approved buildings or structures nor will it change the limits on our environmental emissions, but it will enable us to maximise the efficiency of the facility.

"We’re also looking at how heat from the facility could be supplied to local homes and industry through the development of a district heating network plus we are investigating the potential for electricity to be supplied directly to local businesses through private wire connections."

The energy from waste process is regulated by the Environment Agency through the environmental permit and will need to meet strict emissions limits during commissioning and operational phases.

The increased throughput will result in a higher number of vehicle movements with more flexible hours for waste deliveries.

As part of the application to vary the consent an environmental impact assessment will be undertaken which will look at the potential impact of the proposals on the environment, including updated transport and air quality assessments.

Ahead of submission of an application, LSEP Ltd is undertaking consultation on the proposed variation. Local people can have their say or get in touch with the team by:

● Filling in the questionnaire in the newsletter that is being distributed to nearly 4000 addresses in the area.

● Visiting the website which includes an online questionnaire .

● Signing up on the website to attend a live webinar and Q&A on February 11 at 6pm.

● Writing to Freepost HAVE YOUR SAY.

● Calling 0800 689 1095 or emailing

An application is expected to be submitted to BEIS in the summer with a decision expected in spring 2022.

Following submission of the application another stage of consultation will take place where local people will be asked to submit comments directly to BEIS.