Investing in the Community
We recognise the importance of being part of the wider community and have established a community engagement plan that will have positive impacts on our neighbours.
The development of the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will bring a range of local community, employment, infrastructure and environmental benefits to the local area. During the planning process, several ways to contribute to the local community were identified.
These include the development of a Community Trust Fund and a dedicated ‘Woodland Creation Fund’ to provide for both on-site and off-site plantings by the Forest of Marston Vale Trust under the forest plan. The Rookery South team has also committed to funding planting to enhance the entrance and amenity value of the Millennium Country Park and to improve views via a scheme agreed with the Marston Vale Trust.
Additionally, the Rookery South project will provide a subsidy for local residents to reduce their electricity bills through an electricity subsidy scheme, paying a contribution worth 10% of the average electricity bill. This will be administered by a local organisation, GrantScape.
Supporting the local economy
During facility construction, more than 300 jobs will be created, with many jobs going to local people. Covanta and Veolia have developed a Local Employment Scheme that will target local employment, local supplies of materials and services, and encourage training of employees. In addition, 40-50 permanent jobs will be created when the facility comes online in 2021.
Electricity Subsidy Scheme
The Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will bring a range of local community benefits, one of most innovative and a first for a UK energy-from-waste project, is the Electricity Subsidy Scheme (ESS).
Covanta is unable to directly supply electricity to neighbouring properties or households, as electricity generated by the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will go straight to the National Grid network. However, Covanta has agreed to provide a contribution to electricity costs of designated households in an area surrounding the Rookery South Pit site.
Through the ESS, Covanta will contribute 10% of the electricity costs (calculated by using the average electricity consumption of all UK homes) for domestic properties in the parishes of Brogborough, Wootton, Cranfield, Marston Moretaine, Houghton Conquest, Millbrook, Stewartby and Lidlington.
This will result in an index linked discount for each eligible household’s electricity bills of £60 per annum up to the year 2056. Over 35 years this represents a saving of over £2,000 to every household that qualifies to participate in this innovative scheme.
Covanta has appointed the UK-based charity Grantscape to manage the ESS. Grantscape has been selected as it has local knowledge and experience of managing community benefit schemes within the waste and recycling sectors.
- Applications for the scheme will start once the Environmental Permit Judicial Review has concluded.
- Once the application phase starts, local residents will have three months to apply to participate in the ESS. Further information will be available on the Rookery South website and Grantscape will also publicise the start of the application phase with a series of local information events.
- The ESS is a 35-year commitment and is expected to start once the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility begins commercial operations in 2021.