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New DCO application proposed for Wheelabrator Kemsley

March 2017

Wheelabrator is preparing a Development Consent Order (DCO) application for its Wheelabrator Kemsley combined heat and power facility.

We’re running a period of community consultation from Wednesday 8 March to Wednesday 19 April 2017 at 17.00.

Here you can access all the information about what we’re proposing and send us your feedback.


The facility already has planning permission and construction started in August 2016 on the site adjacent to DS Smith’s Kemsley Paper Mill.

If the DCO is granted, it will allow Wheelabrator to operate the consented facility in a more efficient manner. By working with its EPC contractor to optimise the detailed design of the plant, it now has the potential to generate even more clean energy for UK homes and businesses.

This will not require Wheelabrator to alter the fundamental design or size of the facility, or increase the amount of fuel the facility will manage, and as such, require no change to the approved planning permission

Statement of Community Consultation published

As part of preparing our DCO application, we’re consulting people living and working in the vicinity of our site. This consultation will help local people understand our proposals and give us their views. That feedback will then be considered as we finalise our proposals.

We’ve published a Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) to explain how and when we will be conducting this period of consultation. You can view our SoCC here.

Paper copies of our SoCC are also available to view at the following locations between 8 March 2017 and 19 April 2017:

Swale Borough Council office
Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3HT.
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm (Mon – Thurs) and 9am to 4.30pm (Fri)

Kent County Council office
Planning Applications Group, 1st Floor, Invicta House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XX.
Opening hours: 9am to 4pm (Mon – Fri)

Please note that viewing locations will be closed on bank holidays.

Read our consultation material

You can download all our consultation material using the following links:

Our Project Update newsletter provides an overview of our proposals and details how you can take part in our consultation:

Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) - Non-technical summary:

Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) - Volume 1 – Chapters:

Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) - Volume 2 – Figures:

Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) - Volume 3 – Appendices:

Your views matter to us, so please submit your feedback.

Want to find out more?

We’ll be holding three public exhibitions so local people can meet our team, find out more about our plans and give us their feedback:


Kemsley Community Centre,
The Square, Ridham Avenue,
Kemsley, ME10 2SF
From 1pm to 7pm


Green Porch Parish Hall,
Green Porch Close,
Sittingbourne, ME10 2HA
From 10am to 4pm


Iwade Village Hall,
Ferry Road,
Iwade, ME9 8RG
From 10am to 1pm

What’s the current planning permission status of the Wheelabrator Kemsley facility?

The facility was granted planning permission by Kent County Council in March 2012 and it was also awarded an Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency in 2011. These consents allowed construction to get underway in August 2016 on a facility that will process up to 550,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste and use it to generate up to 49.9 MW (gross) of clean renewable energy.

Crucially, the technical advances which will allow the increases in plant efficiency won’t lead to any change in the fundamental design, size, shape or look of the facility, but will allow it to deliver an estimated electrical output of up to 75 MW (gross).

The plant will be constructed as a combined heat and power facility and will provide high pressure steam to DS Smith Paper Limited for use in their adjacent paper mill.

The facility is being constructed pursuant to the terms of its existing planning permission, and by increasing the potential gross generating capacity of Wheelabrator Kemsley to more than 49.9 MW, means it would then be classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). This would then require a DCO to be granted in order to operate at its increased generating capacity.

Simply, the DCO will allow us to operate the facility in a more efficient way providing scope for increased energy generation.

What is a Development Consent Order?

A Development Consent Order (DCO) is a relatively new national consenting process, similar to a planning application, which developers can apply for under the Planning Act 2008 to undertake a NSIP.

NSIPs are major infrastructure developments that include projects such as power plants and large renewable energy projects. DCO applications for NSIPs are made to the Planning Inspectorate which will consider the application and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then decide whether a DCO should be granted for the proposed scheme.

You can find out more by visiting the Planning Inspectorate website.

What happens next?

After our consultation closes at 17.00 on Wednesday 19 April we will review the feedback we receive and consider it as we finalise our plans. We intend to submit our DCO application in the summer of 2017.

If you’d like to register your interest in the process and be notified when further information becomes available, please email enquiries@wtienergy.co.uk.