ANGERED residents have launched a fight against plans for a waste incineration plant proposed just over one mile from Longparish.

People living in the village, and the surrounding area, in particular Barton Stacey - which the plant will be closest to - have raised fears that a scheme by US company Wheelabrator Technologies will increase traffic and cause environmental issues.

The business is looking to occupy vacant land on waste solutions company Raymond Brown’s site off the A303, to process around 450,000 tonnes of waste a year which will power around 110,000 homes.

But residents are coming together to fight the plan with a Facebook group launched, coined ‘Stop the Harewood Incinerator’, gaining supporters by the day.

Many have expressed concern about the increase of traffic to and from the site, with one resident saying that waste would have to travel by road to reach the proposed facility as reportedly Test Valley only generates 25,000 tonnes per year.

Others have raised annoyance at the height of the proposed building, particularly the two chimney stacks which, the company say, will be between 90 and 100 metres tall.

While the planning process is in the early stages, the waste giant has said that it has sent letters to those living nearby, but people living in Whitchurch and further afield have also joined the campaign to stop the plant.

Wheelabrator will hold consultation events next week, the first on Monday at Barton Stacey Village Hall, from 4pm to 8pm and another in Longparish Village Hall on Thursday, from noon to 4pm.

Longparish resident Andy Jolliffe said he was “horrified” once he realised the scale of the plan.

He added: “There are many questions that I think need to be answered by the company, local councils and central government before something like this is permitted.”

Barton Stacey resident Nick Edmonds added: “While residents know there is a need to deal with waste, the information we have been presented has led to disbelief that such a large facility could land in a rural area.

“In addition to the visual impact, children at several local schools and nurseries could be affected by toxic gases released by the plant.

“More widely, the IPCC has called for net carbon zero emissions by 2050 and it boggles the mind that our government could be prepared to commit to waste incineration units with a service life of many decades when they have already been described in the House of Commons as ‘Yesterday’s Technology”

“I will be going to the consultation event next week to find out more, and urge others to do the same.”

If the proposal is given the go-ahead by the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, work is expected to take 42 months to complete, with “hundreds of full-time jobs during the construction and approximately 50 new full-time jobs during operations”.

Paul Green, Wheelabrator’s UK managing director, said: “Our proposed Wheelabrator Harewood facility will provide clean, renewable baseload energy for many thousands of homes and businesses while diverting post-recycled waste from landfills each year. Wheelabrator Harewood will serve as an economic partner to the local communities, providing construction and operational jobs and significant economic stimulus in the form of capital investments, the purchase of goods and services and active community engagement over many years.

“We’re at an early state in our planning and would like to present our concept and listen to feedback from local people. This process will help inform our work as we shape the project in more detail. By consulting on our project now, we will also get to fully understand the issues that are most important to local communities.

“We encourage anyone who is interested to attend one of our events or visit our website to find out more.”

n What do you think of the plan? Email or write to Letters, Andover Advertiser, 2 Union St, Andover, SP10 1PA.