THE company behind controversial plans to build an incinerator next to the A303 has today confirmed the launch of its public consultation period.

Wheelabrator has proposed to build a “waste-to-energy facility” just north of the A303, near Barton Stacey.

Following an initial consultation on the project, carried out in February and March of this year, the company has prepared a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) which sets out the different factors it has considered in developing its proposals.

And as of today the public will be able to review Wheelabrator’s plans and have their say on the proposals.

Paul Green, vice president for business development at the company, said: “Since we held our first stage of consultation we’ve been considering the feedback we received and adding a lot more detail to our proposals in the areas that we know are important to local people.

“Our assessment work is continuing, and we will add even more detail as we finalise our application, but this consultation represents an opportunity for the community to consider how our proposals have changed and give us their views on those changes.

“Our research shows that, even after all the Government’s recycling targets have been met, there will be around 900,000 tonnes of waste that’s being generated every year by Hampshire and the counties that are its immediate neighbours.

“Our proposals represent an environmentally responsible opportunity to divert a large proportion of this waste from being sent to landfill or exported overseas.”

Residents have six weeks to respond to the plans, with the consultation period set to end on December 12.

The proposed facility would divert up to 500,000 tonnes of residual household and business waste from landfill or export and instead use it to generate renewable baseload energy equivalent to the needs of over 110,000 homes, the company says.

Hundreds of jobs are also expected to be created during the project’s construction, plus 50 full-time roles once the facility becomes operational.

However, others have been vocal in their criticism of the project.

Kit Malthouse, the MP for North West Hampshire, yesterday said the project is “not right for our area” and will “blight our countryside for decades to come”.

And campaigners have labelled the facility “monstrous”.

In the lead up to the launch of the public consultation Andy Jolliffe, from the group Keep Test Valley Beautiful, urged residents to make the most of the opportunity to share their views.

He said: “People have just six weeks to question Wheelabrator and pose written questions to them. It’s the last chance to give Wheelabrator your opinions.

“After December 12 that door slams shut.”

As part of the consultation, Wheelabrator will be holding a series of public engagement events. The full list of events is as follows:

- Tuesday, November 12, 5pm-9pm: Whitchurch (Testbourne Community School, Micheldever Road, Whitchurch, RG28 7JF)

- Wednesday, November 13, 4pm-8pm: Andover (The Guildhall, High Street, Andover, SP10 1LP)

- Thursday, November 14, 4pm-8pm: Barton Stacey (Village Hall, Barton Stacey, SO21 3RW)

- Saturday, November 16, 9am-1pm: Longparish (Village Hall, Longparish, SP11 6PB)

- Wednesday, November 20, 2.30pm-6.30pm: Sutton Scotney (Victoria Hall, Sutton Scotney, SO21 3GX)

Wheelabrator will also be making copes of the consultation materials available from eight local venues, including the Test Valley Borough Council offices in Andover, Andover Library, the Hampshire County Council offices in Winchester, Whitchurch Library, The Cricketers Inn and St Nicholas Church in Longparish and the Swan Inn and Village Hall in Barton Stacey.

The consultation materials can be viewed, and feedback submitted, online at