MEMBERS of the Westbury Gasification Action Group have vowed to strongly oppose Northacre Renewable Energy's new planning application.

Margaret Cavanna, a Westbury Gasification Action Group campaigner, said: “News of the latest proposals for the Northacre site in Westbury has horrified our members.

"Having tried to sell previous plans on the basis that gasification was a modern, superior technology, it’s incredible that NRE now intends to revert to conventional incineration.

“It appears the company would be increasing the 160,000 tonnes per year waste capacity of the plant, so this would have many implications including more CO2 and other emissions into the atmosphere and increased congestion and pollution from industrial vehicles.

“Should the developers change the feedstock to be burned and use more unprocessed waste, people living near the facility could see an increase in nuisances such as odour and flies, as experienced at many similar sites.

“If NRE proposes an increase to the building size or stack height, views from the White Horse and many other points in and around Westbury would be blighted even more than under previous plans.

"Ten towns and parishes objected to previous plans and may find the latest scheme even less acceptable.

“Given the need to meet pledges by both Westbury and Wiltshire Council to be carbon neutral by 2030 at the latest, and to move to a circular economy, we should be looking at waste solutions higher up the ‘waste hierarchy’ and ditch these noxious processes once and for all.

“The Covid-19 crisis has placed even greater focus on the links between air pollution and public health, the need to redesign waste out of our systems, use resources responsibly and ensure a sustainable future.

“If it received planning approval, this latest development takes Wiltshire in the opposite direction.

“However I’m confident NRE can count on huge opposition to these moves from people in and around Westbury and throughout Wiltshire. We will scrutinise the detail when it’s available to formulate our responses during the consultation period.”

To join the group, email and see Westbury Gasification Action Group on Facebook or Twitter @westburygag.