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Hampshire incinerator plans spark opposition
1:50pm Friday 13th April 2012 in Winchester
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build an incinerator with four chimneys up to 100 ft high in Hampshire countryside have sparked major opposition.
Developers Clean Power Properties and Network Rail Infrastructure have revealed details of the proposed new plant on a railway siding at Micheldever Station.
The multi-million pound ‘energy from waste’ burner will process household but also commercial and industrial waste. The scheme includes a recycling plant for food and green garden waste.
Under the proposals, up to 210,000 tonnes of waste per year would be trucked to the six-acre site, enough to produce 7.6 megawatts of electricity.
Developers say most of the waste will arrive by road although rail will be investigated as an option.
The plan is for the plant to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week with deliveries limited to between 8am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays, and Saturday mornings only.
Developers say benefits include diverting more rubbish from landfill, generating renewable energy from waste and creating up to 30 full-time jobs.
However Micheldever Parish Council has formally objected to the plans for the former rail freight yard, now a species-rich chalk grassland site.
Parish councillor Peter Bradley said: “We are quite horrified. It is not even a brownfield site but a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) that has been untouched for generations.
“There will be light pollution, traffic pollution and smells. It is industrial development in the countryside.”
County Councillor Jackie Porter, who represents the Itchen Valley, said: “I am an advocate of alternative energy but it is too big. The main issue is the chimneys which will dominate the landscape and affect the setting of listed buildings, including Micheldever Railway Station. Visually this is a greenfield site, with SINC designation.”
Cllr Porter said potential noise, dust and smells must be included in the environmental impact assessment report.
She said the county council’s energy from waste incinerators, including one at nearby Chineham, near Basingstoke, had spare capacity and were importing household waste from outside Hampshire.
Tessa Robertson, vice-chairman of The Dever Society, said: “Our members will be very concerned, especially about the visual intrusion of the four 30-metre high chimneys. On top of that, there is the noise and other pollution.
“I reckon there will be a minimum 15,000 lorry movements per year. That is equal to 288 per week.”
The six megawatt pyrolysis advanced conversion technology (ACT) incinerator can process between 90 and 150,000 tonnes of household, commercial and industrial waste per year.
Meanwhile the 1.6 megawatt anaerobic digester will require 50 to 60,000 tonnes of food and green waste per year.
If they win planning consent from Hampshire County Council, developers aim to have the plant open by 2015 with an 18-month period of building work starting in 2013-14.
Detailed environmental impact studies will have to be conducted to support the application. The site is next to Micheldever Spoil Heaps Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The scheme would include a weighbridge, offices, tanks for storage, new access road and car parking for visitors and staff.
Hampshire’s Minerals and Waste Plan, compiled by the county council, says new recycling and energy recovery facilities will be required by 2020.
In the plan, Micheldever railway siding was earmarked as suitable for an aggregate rail depot.