DELIGHTED campaigners have declared victory in their fight against plans to build a giant incinerator in Andover.
Test Valley Borough Council confirmed to the Advertiser this week that they have rejected an offer from Sibor Ltd to convert their 50,000sq ft distribution warehouse on the Walworth Business Park into a wood burning “energy recovery centre”.
The news comes just days after campaigners set up a petition pleading with the authority, who are co-developing the site with partners Kier Property, to throw out the controversial plans.
Picket Piece resident Sue Rackham set up the petition and has been leading the fight against the incinerator since Sibor submitted their change of use application to Hampshire County Council back in April.
The mother-of-two, who says she has spent around 100 hours attempting to fight of the plans, said: “I’m delighted and very pleased that Test Valley has made this decision.
“They have responded to the public and decided that it is not appropriate for the Walworth Business Park.
“I am very happy with that.”
The 56-year-old had grown increasingly concerned that the incinerator would get the go-ahead after county councillors gave plans the thumbs up at a regulatory committee meeting earlier this month.
This is despite the authority receiving objections from more than 200 residents.
Following the meeting Mrs Rackham submitted a petition to TVBC in a bid to persuade the authority to reject an offer from Sibor.
The petition collected more than 200 signatures in just three days.
During a discussion between members of TVBC’s cabinet last week, members decided against accepting the offer from Sibor.
A statement by the authority said: “Test Valley Borough Council took the view that the use of the building proposed by Sibor would not be appropriate on Walworth Business Park.
“In reaching its decision, the council took into account a broad range of considerations including the need for Walworth Business Park to remain an attractive proposition for new and existing occupiers, the particular nature of the use that was proposed and the views of the public.
“It is our aim to ensure that Walworth Business Park is in a strong position to attract new businesses, which will in turn enhance the local economy.
“Over the coming months, the council and Kier will be considering proposals from alternative occupiers for the building.”
The Andover Advertiser contacted Sibor Ltd for a comment.
Director Rob Mockridge claimed the company had not been made aware of the council’s decision to reject their offer and that they had not been consulted by TVBC on “any issues despite several requests for meetings”.
Council Leader Ian Carr said this is because co-partner Kier are leading the letting process.
Mr Mockridge also described the rejection as “a real shame” and a “grey day for the UK”.