HUNDREDS of people are vowing to take a stand against a waste incinerator bid.

People living in Longparish, Barton Stacey, and the surrounding area have been given the chance to quiz US company Wheelabrator on its planned waste-to-energy facility on vacant land owned by Raymond Brown near the A303.

Consultations last week saw more than 650 people flood through the doors to have their say and learn more about the scheme.

The business says that it will be able to process 450,000 tonnes of waste a year which will power around 110,000 homes.

But residents are fighting against the plan and are coming together to have their voices heard by launching a campaign group representing the two villages.

Andy Joliffe, who is spearheading the campaign, said: “This proposition here, the scale of what they are trying to build is not in-keeping with the rural environment, I don’t think people appreciate how big it is going to be.”

According to Mr Joliffe, Winchester Cathedral could sit inside the incinerator twice.

Mr Joliffe said that he hopes the company will listen to peoples’ concerns, but the community is already rallying against the scheme.

And Longparish Parish Council chair Christian Dryden said people are discussing how to make use of their expertise to ensure they are listened to.

Cllr Dryden said: “On a personal level I just think it is too big and in the wrong place.”

Concerns were expressed about traffic coming through the village if an accident were to occur on the A303, but the company has insisted that lorries will not be diverted through Longparish.

“They [Wheelabrator] don’t seem to be able to explain where the waste is coming from or why it is out of community. I think it should be close to where you are getting it from,” Cllr Dryden added.

And Longparish resident John Young said: “The size of the thing is a problem, the main thing is a 300-high foot chimney which we will be able to see from our house.”

People also expressed fears about the environmental impact that the facility will have.

Resident Clare Sykes said she was “disappointed” with the plan.

She added: “Everything from an environmental point of view, lighting pollution, noise pollution.One of my biggest concerns is wildlife, the children go to a wildlife club right next door.

“From our children’s point of view it is what they are going to have to live with in the future.”

During the consultation, children from Longparish CofE Primary School attended the event as part of an environment project.

Laura Harding said: “My son is going to be here a lot longer than I am, further down the line it is going to have an impact on them.

“I think the sad part about it, we don’t feel they are being honest. They have sugar-coated things. No-one at the consultation convinced me that it is going to be of any benefit to us.

“It is a monstrosity of a building.”

People from Andover and beyond have also aired their fears, with Andover Town councillors attending the Longparish consultation and Whitchurch Town Council discussing the scheme at its meeting on Monday, calling for more events.

Wheelabrator said that it is in the early stages of the planning process and “we will prepare a comprehensive environmental impact assessment that will look at a wide range of environmental factors”.

A company spokesperson said it will take into account views from the public as plans develop.

The spokesperson added: “The feedback we receive will help us in shaping our thinking. Later this year we will be running a second stage of consultation where we will present our project in detail.

“This will be a further opportunity for people to have their say on our proposal and we will then consider feedback before we submit our application towards the end of 2019.

“We’re very grateful to everybody who has taken the time to offer feedback and would like to thank everybody who came to our public events. We’ll continue to listen to the views of the local community as we develop our proposals.”