MONTHS of delays are set for those wanting to have their say on controversial incinerator plans, but they have been welcomed by a group fighting the scheme.

US company Wheelabrator is planning to build a waste-to-energy facility on the Enviropark owned by Raymond Brown near the A303, near Longparish.

But the firm has now informed the Planning Inspectorate that it has to delay its planned statutory public consultation.

The company claims it will now take place between early November and mid-December, a delay of almost three months, based on the original timeline given to the Inspectorate.

Wheelabrator also says it expects a similar delay for submitting its planning application for the giant plant to the Inspectorate now anticipated towards the end of March next year.

The company says the delays are because it has been reviewing the proposed design plans and has informed the Inspectorate that the size and position of the buildings will be included in the statutory consultation documents.

In the meantime, the Bin the Incinerator campaign continues to gather momentum in the villages east of Andover.

A number of events are being organised over the next few months to help raise money for the campaign.

Spokesperson for the campaign group Keep Test Valley Beautiful, Andy Jolliffe said “Quite a few people had hoped the absence of news and action from Wheelabrator was a sign they might be going away.

“The revised timeline clearly shows unfortunately that is not the case, but we welcome this extra time to further our fact finding and continue discussions with experts in various fields about what is being proposed. The longer this project is delayed the more chance there is that policy makers will eventually recognise that waste incineration has no place in a country aiming to achieve net zero carbon emissions - and hopefully will put a stop to this madness.”

It is understood that Test Valley Borough Council are currently being consulted by Wheelabrator for their input on exactly where and how the public consultations will take place.

Within the letter to the Inspectorate, Wheelabrator states: “The applicant has been reviewing the design plans of the proposed development after receiving feedback on the current design during non-statutory consultation.”