Frequently Asked Questions

Project benefits

Is this new facility needed?

Yes. Over two million tonnes of London’s non-recyclable waste is currently sent to landfill or shipped overseas. London has a clear waste infrastructure capacity gap which urgently needs investment.

To add to the problem, of the 11 active landfill sites where London’s waste is currently sent, only two of these will be operational after 2025. The proposed Energy Park will play a significant part in addressing this shortfall and will be privately funded.

Will there be jobs created for local people?

Yes. Riverside Energy Park will create at least 75 new jobs with apprenticeship opportunities in engineering, river logistics and business management. The Energy Park will require a workforce in excess of 6,000 people over the lifetime of construction period; a real benefit to the local economy.

Will the proposed Energy Park be able to supply a district heating network?

We will be incorporating Combined Heat and Power infrastructure on our site, which will enable the heat generated at the Energy Park to be supplied via a potential district heating network to c. 10,500 local homes and businesses

We are working closely with the London Borough of Bexley and local housing associations to deliver a local district heating network.

What does Cory do to engage the community?

As well as creating and supporting jobs, we engage with local schools, create apprenticeships and back the Industrial Cadets programme. Industrial Cadets is an industry-led accreditation, which allows employers of all sizes to run accredited experiences for young people aged 9-21, to create a talent pipeline for UK industry.

We’re also an active member of the Belvedere Community Forum and attend their meetings to update members. In addition, we sponsor the Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch.

What’s the best way to stay updated as the project progresses?

We will continue to update this project website, so please check back regularly.

The dedicated Riverside Energy Park page on the Planning Inspectorate’s website will also continue to post updates. You can register your email address on this page so the Planning Inspectorate can update you directly - but please note you will only start to receive these notifications once our application has been submitted.

Local environment, ecology and landscape

What will this mean for London’s air quality?

We’ve found that there will negligible effects on some of the key air quality criteria such as NO2, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations at the most sensitive residential areas (i.e. properties within Air Quality Management Areas or AQMA), as a result of our proposed facility.

How will you protect local wildlife?

We have undertaken an extensive range of surveys of local habitats and wildlife and are working closely with Natural England, the government’s ecological advisor. We will ensure that disturbance to wildlife is minimised during construction (including protecting the neighbouring Crossness Nature Reserve) and will look for opportunities to enhance existing habitats or create new habitats as part of our proposals.

We may need to cross the Crossness Nature Reserve with our buried cables and welcome feedback as to how we can minimise any temporary impacts if this is the route we are required to take. However, we expect to be able to dig within, or next to, the existing footpath.

Are there any historic buildings and archaeological factors to consider?

Cory and UKPN deliberately routed our cable options along public highways wherever possible (in the road, verges or footways, where the ground has already been dug up/disturbed) to minimise environmental effects, including to potential buried historic assets.

How will the proposed Energy Park affect views from nearby footpaths and properties?

We have considered three different building forms for our project, against six factors (see our exhibition panels). The stepped version has the lowest roof, has the smallest ‘massing’ and is therefore our preference because it also provides a good level of solar generation.

We are not seeking the closure of any footpaths to allow construction of our proposed Energy Park. On the cable route we may seek temporary restrictions or diversions, but due to the small-scale nature of the cable laying works we would expect only short diversions for a limited amount of time (if required at all).

Will it be noisy?

No. We have carried out a full assessment of the impact of the proposals in terms of noise and our assessments show that any noise or vibration we make during construction and operation would be insignificant . We are feeding those results into the design process to ensure we minimise any impact on local residential areas or properties.

Could flooding be a problem?

We have already discussed flood risk and appropriate mitigation with the Environment Agency and have agreed a minimum finished floor level so that our plant would not be susceptible to flooding. Our proposed site is protected by an existing flood protection embankment.

Will the project give off an odour or produce ‘soot’?

No. The technologies we use are designed to avoid emissions of odour. The interior of the tipping area is kept under negative air pressure which ensures air is drawn into the facility when doors are opened to accept deliveries etc. This helps to keep any dust and odour within the buildings.

If you experience odour, please report it to the Environmental Health Officer at London Borough of Bexley, so the source can be identified and action taken.

Why does the preferred option look different from the existing facility?

We haven’t made the final decision on how the proposed Energy Park will look yet as that’s something which will take account of any important matters raised by our consultation process and by our ongoing engineering and environmental studies.

However, we have considered three indicative building forms for the facility – each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Based on an assessment of these different factors, we have identified a stepped design as our preferred building form solution. You can read more about this on panel number 13.

Where can I find more information about the environmental impacts of the proposed Energy Park?

We have prepared a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) which formed an important part of the consultation process in 2018. You can view and download these documents – as well as a Non-Technical Summary of the PEIR - here.

If the application is accepted by the Planning Inspectorate, application documents including an Environmental Statement will be available on the Planning Inspectorate's website.

Transport

Will the new facility mean more traffic on local roads?

Like the existing facility, Riverside Energy Park will seek to make extensive use of the river to remove truck journeys from London’s roads. A traffic management plan will be used during construction to minimise any traffic impacts.

Any traffic movements generated by the proposed Energy Park would be relatively small in relation to existing flows (less than 2% increase in daily traffic movements on the local roads, based on the worst case).

We will also assess the impacts of additional tug and barge movements on the River Thames.

Will the roadworks for the cable route disrupt local traffic?

UKPN, the electricity company that operate the local network, has confirmed that they will use ‘ducting’. This means they can dig up short sections of road at a time, rather than digging up longer stretches, which would be more likely to cause greater disturbance.

Our decision on which cable route to take will take account of engineering advice from UKPN, input from local authorities and feedback from the community about any potential traffic effects.

Riverside Energy Park will meet a direct need for more energy generation and waste treatment in London and the South East