VILLAGERS are preparing to fight a highly contentious plan for an incinerator which they believe will spread pollution across the South Cheshire countryside.
A formal planning application for an incinerator to deal with waste materi -als in the Wrexham County Borough Council area is expected to be lodged within days.
According to Eddisbury MP Stephen O'Brien (Con), who represents the villages, the blame for the incinerator lies squarely with Tony Blair.
Mr O'Brien says he has received dozens of complaints from people living down -wind in communities from Malpas to Audlem who are worried about cancer-causing dioxins and toxic heavy metals.
The incinerator would be built in Wrexham, but the MP argues prevailing wind conditions mean people living in South Cheshire would be worst affected.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr O'Brien asked Tony Blair: 'Why do the Prime Minister and the Government persist in forcing local councils to build up to 165 waste incinerators at the expense of far more environmentally sustainable recycling plants?
'For example, my constituents will be the victims of pollution from such a plant in Wrexham, which is just across the border from my Eddisbury constituency.
Mr O'Brien also pointed out that because the proposed incinerator would be in W ales, there were no official avenues for Cheshire residents to take their objections.
He added: 'Under the Prime Minister s devolution arrangements, my constituents have no powers of representation for objection at a local level and it is causing great anger.'
The Prime Minister replied: 'Incineration has been used by governments for many years. It is the last method we wish to use. First, we want to reduce waste and, secondly, we want to improve recycling.
'That is why we are putting substantial additional investment from memory about £160m into improving recycling. Thirdly, there will be situations in which we have to incinerate.
'Although we regret that and wish to avoid it where we can, it is not realistic to think we can deal with all the waste we have in any other way.'
Speaking afterwards, Mr O'Brien said: 'The public want to see more recycling, not a roll-out of polluting chimneys in the Welsh and Cheshire countryside, especially when there are grave doubts about the impact on health and the environment.'
Mr O'Brien said last year Wrexham Council turned down proposals for a recycling plant.
A Wrexham Council spokeswoman said any application would be subject to major public scrutiny, including a formal consultation with local authorities including Cheshire County Council.