PROTESTERS planned to gatecrash a public meeting about plans to turn the old Ravenhead works into a giant waste management site.
Residents of The Shires, backed by former Mayor John Beirne, hoped to make their voices heard outside the World of Glass yesterday evening (Tuesday) - where a public consultation event was set to be held.
Neighbours are angry at plans to turn the 20-acre Ravenhead site into a 24-hour waste management facility, which would have the capacity to process up to 200,000 tonnes of rubbish every year.
And residents of The Shires estate - between Borough Road and Ravenhead Road - say people living in neighbouring Thatto Heath, Toll Bar, Sutton Heath, West Park and Grange Park would all be affected too.
Protester Peter Browne said: “It beggars belief that any council would approve any proposal which would bring an extra 178 trucks per day into the centre of the town - not to mention the resultant noise, dust, flies, smells and air pollution.
“Just turning into Ravenhead Road from Burtonhead Road is a problem already for ordinary traffic let alone a steady stream of HGVs.”
John Beirne said: “We want to send the applicant and St Helens Council’s planning department a message. ‘No, no, no’ we don’t want an incinerator and all its problems.
“I’ve forwarded the hundreds of objection letters that I’ve received straight to the planning department. The public consultation event was nothing but a PR stunt.”
But Pearse O’Kane, CEO of Bedminster International, whose subsidiary, Organic Waste Management, are the applicants, denied that this type of waste processing amounted to incineration.
He said: “It’s an alternative to incineration and residents should have no fears about it whatsoever. Incineration is the burning of all types of waste, including plastics.
“What we hope to do in St Helens is take in municipal waste, sort it carefully and then extract the organic fraction from the biodegradable waste to create electricity to connect to the grid. We could generate up to 10 mega watts a year.”
He added: “Samsung signed a licence to take Bedminster’s mechanical biological treatment technology to Korea in 2009 and they are our 50/50 partners in this project.
“Although the site will be operational 24 hours a day, deliveries will only take place at certain times of the day.
“We would be employing 50 full time staff too. “
As far as possible we would fill the vacancies locally.”