PROTESTS are mounting against a massive waste disposal plant planned for Hooton Park.
People living in neighbouring Eastham fear a huge influx of lorries carrying waste, mainly from Liverpool, to the proposed £60m Biossence facility.
Although those behind the innovative plant say they are committed to bring waste in by barge, villagers say there is no guarantee of this, and fear once planning permission is given, there will be no way to enforce it.
The planning decision on the unit on the banks of the Mersey was delayed for members of Wirral’s planning committee to visit the proposed site.
The application is due to be considered again on Thursday, December 13.
Anglo-German firm Biossence wants to build the integrated waste treatment and power generation plant to process up to 400,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Hundreds of residents living near North Road, in Eastham, contacted the council opposing the plans.
They say the land it would be built on is on the border of Eastham Conservation Village and a green field site with trees up to 300 years old, and wildlife which needs protecting.
Eastham Village Preservation Association says it is concerned the company will use the road network to bring waste in to the plant, and to carry by-products away.
But Dr Ralf Trottnow, of Biossence, insisted the company intends to make use of the site’s proximity to the Mersey. “Our preferred option has always been to transport the majority of material in and out of the site by barge,” he said.
“To that end we are currently negotiating with two commercial operators over the handling and compacting of cargo and with engineering firms over what work might be needed at the berth to receive the containers.
“We remain determined to minimise the need for road traffic to access the site and will be able to make further progress with our plans for shipping in the waste if the application for Hooton Park is determined in our favour.”
The proposed development would include the use of a process known as autoclaving, to sterilise waste through steam treatment and break it down into recyclable materials, before the inert material, or “flock”, which remains is re-used to produce a gas which will in turn help generate electricity.
The centre, which would create 100 jobs, would also be able to generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes.