Power Upgrade

New DCO application proposed for the Wheelabrator Kemsley Generating Station

May 2017

Wheelabrator Technologies is preparing a Development Consent Order (DCO) application for its Wheelabrator Kemsley Generating Station.

We ran a period of community consultation from Wednesday 8 March to Wednesday 19 April 2017.
This consultation has now closed.


The combined heat and power facility received planning permission in 2012 and construction commenced in August 2016 on the site adjacent to DS Smith’s Kemsley Paper Mill.

Once the DCO is granted, the consented facility will be able to operate in a more efficient manner. By working with our EPC contractor to optimise the detailed design of the plant, the Wheelabrator Kemsley Generating Station now has the potential to generate even more clean energy for UK homes and businesses.

The change does not alter the fundamental design or size of the facility, or increase the amount of fuel the facility will manage, and as such, requires no change to the 2012 approved planning permission.

Statement of Community Consultation published

As part of preparing our DCO application, Wheelabrator consulted people living and working in the vicinity of our site to help local people understand our proposals and provide the opportunity for them to provide feedback. We appreciate the engagement of the local community in this process and the feedback we received is being considered as we finalise our proposals.

Wheelabrator published a Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) explaining how we intended to conduct this period of consultation, which can be viewed here.

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

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 the Wheelabrator Kemsley Generating Station 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?

Now that our consultation has closed, we will review the feedback we received and consider it as we finalise our plans.

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.