A new research study has found no significant effect of waste incinerator plants on long term local property prices.

The installation of waste incinerator plants – or Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities – is often contested in the UK. Arguments such as health, cost, noise, odours, traffic movement, resources depletion and house prices are often cited as reasons against the development of such facilities.

This study, carried out by Cranfield University, analysed property prices surrounding three EfW plants in the UK, all of which have been operational for at least seven years. Property sales data, within 5 km of the sites, was analysed in detail, and compared against the local house price index before and after the facilities became operational.

In all cases, there was no significant negative effect on property prices at any distance within 5 km from the plant, indicating that the perceived negative impact of these plants on local property values is, in fact, negligible.

Dr Stuart Wagland, who led the study for Cranfield, said “Energy from Waste (EfW) is widely seen as an essential part of an integrated waste management solution, but the main constraint on its uptake has been the negative perceptions of politicians and the public, and the subsequent opposition to planning applications. This stems from a historic memory of ‘dirty’ incinerators of the past, but regulation and policy has ensured that modern incinerators are vastly improved.“

Notes for editors

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About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Energy and Power at Cranfield

Cranfield has been a leader in energy and power for 20 years. Our expertise includes low carbon energy supply, power generation, advanced fossil fuel technologies and transport systems. Our teaching and research covers offshore renewables, oil and gas engineering, the production and clean utilisation of fossil fuels, combustion and power generation through to bioenergy and the utilisation of wastes as fuel.

We have long-standing strategic partnerships with Alstom Power, BP, Centrica, Chevron, Doosan Babcock, Dong Energy, Petrofac, Rolls-Royce, Shell, Siemens and many others.

Our world-class facilities include the Structural Integrity Laboratory, which has a wide range of equipment to study the mechanical behaviour of components and material samples up to 250,000 tonnes and has machines unique to any university in Europe, and the Ocean Systems Test Laboratory, designed for model testing at the early stage of marine renewable projects.