‘Incinerator’ plans back on agenda

John Beirne and residents of Merton Bank protest against the proposed waste plant in their area.
John Beirne and residents of Merton Bank protest against the proposed waste plant in their area.
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Controversial proposals to turn a former Ravenhead Glass warehouse into what residents fear will be a waste incinerator are set to go back before planning chiefs.

Applicants Oaktree Environmental hope to turn a warehouse on the Merton Bank Road industrial estate in Fingerpost into a waste plant capable of receiving 150,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste every year.

A planning application was kicked out by councillors last November after the company left out vital details were left out to demonstrate the low-carbon nature of the plant and its likely impact on the surrounding areas.

Now the company has resubmitted the plans, and opponents have until February 14 to voice their concerns over the proposal.

Company bosses insist the gasification methods used are safe and say up to 40 local jobs would be created, but protester and former Mayor John Beirne claims it will effectively be an “incinerator”.

He said: “If given the go-ahead this would be a glorified incinerator. Residents have already put together petitions about this and I’ve sent lots of leaflets out.

“Who would want an incinerator burning in their area with the additional lorries on the road near a school? Nobody. I understand quite a lot of personal letters have been sent in to the council by residents too.”

Plans for the Lock Street site include a 39m-high flue which will help generate up to 10.6MW of sustainable electrical energy per hour, 24 hours per day, for export to the National Grid.

Although the machinery is planned to be operational all day every day, the plant itself will only open from 7am to 9pm during the week, from 7am to 6pm every Saturday and from 8am to 4pm every Sunday. Mr Beirne is now urging residents to either sign the local petition or write to the Town Hall planning department to air their views.

A spokesman for Oaktree Environmental declined to comment.