The row over plans for a controversial new incinerator in Westbury has heated up with an MP weighing in with his concerns.

South West Wiltshire MP Andrew Murrison is ‘strongly’ objecting the controversial bid by Northacre Renewable Energy and Hills Waste to change its proposed gasification plant on the edge of the town to an ‘old-style incinerator taking more waste, belching more carbon and particulates and increasing heavy traffic through the town’.

“Westbury didn’t lose the cement works chimney only to have another old-style industrial smokestack imposed on it,” he said.

Mr Murrison is urging residents to make their voices heard and comment on the application – the deadline for comments on the proposals is Tuesday, September 22. 

He added: “Wiltshire declared a climate emergency last year and its clear the revised plans would be a step back even from the unwelcome gasification proposals already approved.

“There is sufficient capacity within reasonable distance for disposing any waste that the operator believes can’t be recycled.

"In any event, throwing up more incinerators has a chilling effect on waste reduction and recycling.

“It’s a big no to this latest attempt by NRE and I urge people to write to Wiltshire Council to object.”

The MP has voiced his concerns over the scale of the proposals as he says it would make Westbury a regional hub with around 200 HGVs passing through every day and the burners which would be ‘emitting greenhouse gases 24/7 for 25 years’.

A spokesperson for Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd said: “Our previous proposal for an energy-from-waste facility was granted planning permission in 2019.

"However, we are now seeking to change the technology from gasification to conventional moving grate combustion.

“This technology has been successfully and safely deployed across the UK and Europe for many years.

“Public Health England has repeatedly given energy-from-waste plants a clean bill of health and is satisfied that they do not pose any risks to neighbouring communities.”

The company added that PHE has given the similar plants a ‘clean bill of health’ and says they do not pose any risk to residents, adding that emissions from the proposed facility would be tightly regulated by an permit granted by the Environmental Agency.

At a council meeting on Tuesday, Trowbridge town councillors overwhelmingly voted to reject the proposed development by Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd.

The motion was brought forward by Cllr Thomas Bazan and seconded by Cllr Antonio Piazza.

Resident Marie Hillcoat said that she asked Cllr Bazan to bring the motion to the town council and in the public forum urged councillors to ‘complete the jigsaw’ of town and parish councils already raising objections to the incinerator.

Cllr David Cavill abstained from the vote saying that while he does not agree with the plant being in Westbury but added ‘it has to go somewhere’.

Town mayor Cllr Peter Fuller spoke of his time living in Westbury and the affects of the ash from the cement works.

“I think Westbury residents were very pleased when the chimney went down,” he said.

“Therefore people living in Westbury are very concerned about any suggestion that something might happen in their air again.”

The town council now joins the growing list of those opposing the plans including Westbury Town Council, North Bradley Parish and Bradford on Avon Town Council.