MORE than 120 people, groups and official bodies have objected to the plans to build an waste incinerator in Westbury.

Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd, comprising Swindon-based Hills Group and Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, has applied to the Environment Agency for an operating permit for its proposed £200 million waste-to-energy incinerator.

But most responses contain strong objections, saying it will increase air pollution, harm public health and lead to an increase in heavy traffic using the A350 and local roads.

The company has yet to hear whether Wiltshire Council has approved its planning application to change the original advanced thermal technology plant to a moving grate combustion incinerator.

So far, South Wiltshire MP Dr Andrew Murrison, 16 local councils, the Westbury Gasification Action Group/No Westbury Incinerator, and scores of local residents have objected to the scheme.

The council’s own climate team has also changed its ‘holding’ objection to a full objection, on the grounds of carbon impact.

Ariane Crampton, the council’s head of carbon reduction, says NREL’s plans and the council’s own carbon reduction targets have changed significantly since the company’s planning application was first made in 2018.

She added: “There has been a material change in policy and a material change in size and scale of the proposals from processing 160,000 tonnes per annum waste to 243,000tpa.

“The site will emit carbon dioxide.

"This is considered to be on a much greater scale than that suggested in the Northacre carbon assessment report, which has been peer reviewed by the University of Exeter.”

NREL said in a statement: “If granted permission for the change in technology, we would have an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art facility, which addresses the pressing need for a sustainable long-term solution to non-recyclable waste in Wiltshire.”

The Environment Agency has just extended the public consultation by a month on the permit bid.

Residents now have until February 21 to comment.