PLANS to build an incinerator near Andover have been scrapped, the Advertiser can reveal.

The US firm Wheelabrator was understood to have been facing increased pressures from campaigning groups and cancelled public meetings earlier this year.

Sources said the company had clearly ‘bitten off more than it could chew’.

Wheelabrator had proposed building the facility - large enough to house Winchester Cathedral twice over - on land just north of the A303, near Barton Stacey.

The plans were met with widespread opposition, as campaigners branded the proposed facility a “monstrosity” and a “blight” on the Test Valley countryside.

In a statement today, Wheelabrator confirmed it was pulling out of the scheme after conducting a ‘strategic review’ of its opportunities.

Commenting on the decision vice president Paul Green said: “The UK waste-to-energy market is extremely buoyant with significant capacity gaps remaining in the residual waste management infrastructure.

“Wheelabrator is well-placed to address this capacity gap and provide sustainable waste management solutions with a number of live projects across the UK.”

“Having undertaken a strategic review of the wide range of opportunities in our current pipeline, we have decided to focus our efforts on further advanced waste-to-energy projects, and as such, will no longer continue to invest in the development of the Wheelabrator Harewood waste-to-energy facility.

He added: “Wheelabrator would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback as part of our recent community consultations.”

The news has been met with a large reaction of positivity from the community with David Wright, from Keep Test Valley Beautiful, describing it as ‘good news’ for Test Valley residents and the local environment and ecosystem.