VILLAGERS fighting plans to build an incinerator in Test Valley have been horrified to discover that vehicles - most of them heavy lorries - could arrive at or leave the site on average every four minutes, 24 hours a day.

US company Wheelabrator’s plan to build a waste to energy facility next to the A303 could mean potentially over 400 vehicle movements a day, the firm has admitted.

Previously, at a public exhibition, the company told residents to expect about 140 lorries daily, so 280 vehicle movements in and out of the site, earmarked for Raymond Brown’s ‘Enviropark’.

But in response to written questions, the company has now admitted the number will be much larger.

Wheelabrator’s figures now detail that there could be around 280 movements of heavy diesel lorries bringing waste and another 10 movements taking fly ash – removed from the filters – away to landfill.

Ten more lorry movements will involve ‘consumables’ and other vehicles will carry staff coming and going.

The response adds that ‘bottom ash’ – the material that falls in the grate – “is assumed to be sent next door [Raymond Brown’s site] for recycling, however as a prudent step in our assessment we have included 22 lorries per day to remove ash from site”.

Wheelabrator says that, while it is usually normal to operate 12 hours a day it will be applying for 24-hour deliveries “to ensure an optimised delivery profile,” adding: “This may alleviate pressure on the roads during the daytime. We welcome feedback on this.”

Members of the Keep Test Valley Beautiful – ‘No Monstrous Incinerator’ group, set up to fight the proposals, say they now have added concerns over noise and light emanating from the site.

Spokesperson Andy Jolliffe said: “This response demonstrates Wheelabrator clearly believe the road system is already under considerable pressure, plus the extra traffic from this incinerator will only make things much worse, and their attempt to mitigate this by requesting a 24-hour operation is totally inappropriate – just think of the additional night time noise and light pollution.

“To suggest it’s ‘prudent’ to include trucks to take the bottom ash away is astonishing, as whether the ash is recycled or not, these extra trucks will still be needed. How do they think it will leave the site?”