Houghton Main Energy Centre S73 Application


Peel Environmental is progressing plans to develop an Energy Centre at the former Houghton Main Colliery site, off Park Spring Road (A6195).  Planning consent for a timber resource recovery facility on the site was granted in June 2015 and subsequently implemented in 2018.

In advance of construction starting on site, Peel Environmental would like to alter some of the conditions attached to the existing planning permission and have recently submitted a S73 application to Barnsley MBC.  These changes relate to the amount and type of fuel that can be brought to the facility and the number of vehicles needed to transport it.

The alterations sought would not result in any additional development of the site.

We propose to broaden the type of fuel accepted at the energy centre to include Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). RDF consists of what remains after recyclates such as higher quality paper, card, wood, plastics, glass, aggregates and metal have been removed and would traditionally be sent to landfill sites.

The UK needs to consider better ways to manage non-recyclable waste, as well as the way the country generates energy.  The Houghton Main Energy Centre will play a vital role in disposing of non-recyclable waste that currently ends up in landfill or is exported from the UK for use in energy centres across Europe.

The facility would export up to 22MW of electricity to the grid, enough to power up to 51,000* homes.

All documents relating to the existing planning permission can be found here.

The documents relating to the S73 application can be viewed here

*Ofgem (2015) ‘Typical Domestic Consumption Values’, calculated as electricity profile 1 - medium.

Investing in Barnsley, Creating Jobs 


What changes are we proposing?

In order to secure a consistent fuel supply for the Houghton Main Energy Centre, Peel Environmental is asking Barnsley MBC to alter some of the conditions attached to the existing planning permission for the facility.

Importantly, the variations sought would not result in any additional infrastructure on site to that already consented.

The changes relate to the type of fuel able to be processed at the energy centre, the amount of fuel that can be treated and the number of vehicle movements associated with the facility.

Changing the Fuel Mix

We would like to alter the types of fuel that the Energy Centre can use to generate energy.  The existing planning consent proposed to use waste wood to fuel the energy centre and we would like to broaden the type of fuel and accept Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).

RDF is produced from residual waste that is left over once recyclates, such as higher quality paper, card, wood, plastics, glass, aggregates and metal have been removed.

Changing the Amount of Fuel

The change in fuel type will allow the energy centre to process more than originally proposed.  We would like to increase the amount of fuel that can be used at the energy centre to 260,000 tonnes of RDF annually – waste which would otherwise be exported abroad or in the absence of suitable infrastructure sent to landfill.

Changing the number of vehicles that can access the Energy Centre

The increase in fuel quantities will generate some additional traffic but the changes sought will only result in an extra 9 HGVs visiting the site on weekdays.  The S73 application is seeking to enable deliveries of fuel at weekends (33 HGV deliveries on Saturdays and Sundays) as well as during the working week. 

The fuel will be delivered in similar size vehicles as originally proposed, from a single fuel supply aggregator.  No direct deliveries from third parties will be accepted by the energy centre.  This means that the routes and timings of deliveries can be controlled to reduce potential impacts on local roads.

All vehicles will enter and exit via the existing access on the Houghton Main Colliery Roundabout, which has direct access onto the A6195 Park Spring Road, with onward access to the motorway network. This will allow HGVs to avoid travelling through villages such as Little Houghton.


Peel Environmental is committed to engaging with local communities and will be working with community representatives to inform residents about the S73 application.

For further information or to submit your feedback you can contact our planning team via 0330 100 3452 (9am-5pm, Mon to Fri) or email houghtonmain@peellandp.co.uk