PLANS to build a controversial incinerator on Ince Marshes have been given the green light despite fears that toxic fumes could harm villagers’ health.
In a fraught meeting of the Cheshire West and Chester Strategic Planning Board yesterday (Thursday) councillors voted an overwhelming no to Peel Energy’s plans to build a 20MW biomass renewable energy plant on Ince Marshes.
But after failing to determine and adequate planning reason despite more than an hour of debate, with councillors being warned of having a ‘pick and mix attitude’ by officers, the committee made a dramatic u-turn and approved the timber-fuelled development.
The application was approved under a series of conditions including a newly enforced condition by the board that air quality monitoring must be enforced in Helsby throughout the life time of the development.
Professor John Dearden member of community group Residents Against the Incinerator asked the committee to reject the application which would release over 268,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere above Helsby, Frodsham and Ince every year.
“It is unjustifiable to inflict yet another polluting industrial plant on this locality. We must have environmental justice,” said Prof Dearden.
“Biomass plants emit large quantities of very fine particles, which cannot be filtered out effectively. These penetrate deep into the lung and cause serious problems.”
A spokesperson for Peel said that the benefits of the development clearly outweighed the negative concerns saying that jobs would be created by the plant and the it would create power for 37,000 homes every year.
For full reaction to the outcome and a full report of the meeting get next week’s Chester Chronicle. On sale, Thursday, September 15.