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North Selby Updated Image


Introduction to the Project

The North Selby Anaerobic Digestion & Horticultural Glasshouse Project will provide a new horticultural glasshouse facility for one of the country’s leading specialist plant propagation companies, using heat and electricity provided by a co-located Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility. The AD facility will employ combined heat and power (CHP) units to generate heat and electricity from up to 60,000 tonnes of organic waste (source separated food waste, commercial and industrial waste and agricultural waste) per year.

The site lies south of York, between the villages of Escrick and Wheldrake, with direct access to the A19. The 24-hectare site is a former coal mine pit head and currently includes an office block, storage buildings, workshop and a National Grid substation. The site is well screened and in a relatively remote rural location.

We have been considering developing the site for some time, and have already carried out consultation with the local community and some stakeholders.

Our revised proposals offer the following benefits:

    • Support the local economy with the creation of up to 56 full-time and 50 seasonal jobs
    • The generation of low carbon energy including around 1.5MW of heat and up to 2.75MW of electricity – some of which will be used to supply the horticultural glasshouse. Surplus electricity will be exported to the national grid and create enough power to meet the energy needs of around 3,500 homes as well as helping to diversify the UK’s energy mix and decarbonising energy production

    • Inward investment into the area of around £23.5 million
    • The use of waste as a resource instead of sending it to ever decreasing landfill sites – reducing the impact of waste on the environment

    • Bringing the site back into use, whilst making use of the existing infrastructure

    • Support for local and regional businesses, including the full retention of business rates for City of York Council

    • The facility could make a positive contribution to City of York Council meeting its objective to reduce carbon emissions by providing a carbon saving of around 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year
    • The generation of bio-fertiliser which can be used as an alternative to traditional fossil fuel derived fertiliser. The facility would offer an opportunity to stimulate a new market in bio-fertiliser which could be used by the local farming community 

The project will be financed through private funds, and we’re investigating which technology providers and operators to partner with.

We’re currently progressing preliminary design work, and undertaking a range of technical and environmental assessments which will accompany the planning application. These include an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a Landscape & Visual Assessment, a Transport Assessment, an Air Quality Assessment and a Noise Assessment.

The planning application was submitted in October 2012. The planning application was approved by City of York Council in January 2014 and the planning consent issued in April 2014.

About The Horticultural Glasshouse Facility

Our plans now include a horticultural glasshouse which will use heat and electricity generated by the AD facility, making the two facilities ideal for co-location. The North Selby site provides a suitable location for the facility due to its topography, existing grid connection and other infrastructure, access to good transport links and existing screening.

The plant propagation facility will be operated by Howden based specialists Plant Raisers – the UK’s foremost plant propagator for the horticultural sector – which has a vast amount of experience and continues to lead the way in new techniques and developments.

Plant Raisers is the largest tomato, cucumber and pepper plant propagator in the UK and the only one to have a quality system certified to conform to BS ISO 9001:2008.

About Anaerobic Digestion

What is Anaerobic Digestion?

Our project will use Anaerobic Digestion (AD) technology to generate heat and electricity from up to 60,000 tonnes of feedstock which will comprise organic waste such as separately collected food waste, materials arising from a broad range of commercial and industrial operations (such as waste from restaurants, schools, food processing plants and supermarkets) and agricultural wastes.

The main products resulting from anaerobic digestion are biogas - a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide which is very similar to natural gas - and digestate which can be used as a bio- fertiliser. The biogas can be used to generate electricity, gas or heat, or compressed for use as a biofuel.

How does Anaerobic Digestion Work?

Schematic Diagram

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a process which occurs in the absence of air, converting ‘organic’ matter into useful products. The organic materials are put inside sealed tanks where natural micro-organisms digest them, releasing methane that can be used to provide heat and power and bio-fertiliser.

AD is not a new technology - it has actually been used in the UK since the 1800s - and there are a growing number of AD plants in the UK processing our waste and producing energy. AD facilities are commonplace on farms in the UK, with the rural location of the North Selby site offering the potential for the development of a local market for bio-fertiliser.

Almost any biomass can be processed in AD and converted into renewable energy - food waste, energy crops, slurry, crop residues, etc.

AD plants can accept waste from our homes, supermarkets, industry and farms, so less waste goes to landfill.

Community Consultation

Throughout the project we are committed to keeping the local community updated with information on the North Selby project.

Peel Environmental has been engaging with local residents, politicians and interested stakeholders to allow them to gain a clear understanding of our proposals. This included holding public exhibitions and producing community newsletters to keep residents informed. 

Please click on the following links to view copies of the consultation material:

Planning Permission

The revised proposal for the site was launched in April 2012. We then carried out a range of technical and environmental assessments which were submitted as part of the planning application. These included an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a Landscape & Visual Assessment, a Transport Assessment, an Air Quality Assessment and a Noise Assessment and a Consultation Assessment Report.

Following submission of the planning application to City of York Council in November 2012, councillors approved the plans in April 2013. Following a potential challenge, Peel Environmental agreed to the consent being quashed, in order for the application to be reconsidered as quickly as possible. The planning application was approved by City of York Council in January 2014 and the planning consent issued in April 2014.

To view a copy of the planning application documentation please click on the following links;

To view addendum documents submitted in October 2013 please click on the links below:

Further information

If you have any queries or concerns, you can contact us via any of the methods below:

    • Call: Freephone 0800 170 1418
    • Write: Freepost RSKS-SBBE-LHHZ, PPS Group, Hanover House, 30-32 Charlotte Street, Manchester, M1 4FD
    • Email: northselby@peel.co.uk

Contact Us

FREEPHONE 0800 170 1418
(Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm)

EMAIL: northselby@peel.co.uk   

Write to us:

Renewable Energy Centre
PPS Group
30-32 Charlotte Street
M1 4FD