SOUTH West Wiltshire MP Dr Andrew Murrison has sought reassurance from new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that planning permission won’t be awarded for the proposed £200 million Westbury incinerator if it fails to meet the government’s strict carbon emission standards.

Speaking at Mr Sunak’s first PMQ’s, Dr Murrison said: “One of the burning issues in my constituency is the waste incinerator in Westbury.

“With the Government rightly reviewing its air quality targets can I ask my Right Honourable Friend to signal his intent to promoting public health, net zero and the environment by placing a moratorium on any unwanted, unnecessary toxic waste burners?”

The Prime Minister responded: “My Honourable Friend has conducted a vociferous campaign on this issue, as I learnt over the summer.

“He will know that local authorities determine these issues but to reassure him that all large incinerators in England must comply with strict emission limits and only receive permits if plants don’t cause any damage to human health.

“Hopefully, that will reassure him.”

Dr Murrison and Westbury Town Council are waiting for a planning inquiry to begin at 10am on Tuesday, November 22.

It will examine Wiltshire Council’s decision not to give its final approval to Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd’s application for a change of use of technology from advanced thermal treatment to moving grate combustion for the Westbury energy from waste incinerator.

Opponents say that more harmful carbon dioxide particulates will be released into the atmosphere surrounding the proposed facility on the Northacre Industrial Estate in Westbury.

Westbury Town Council is to focus on air quality, landscape and viewpoints, and democracy during its submission at next month’s public inquiry.

Wiltshire Council’s Strategic Planning Committee voted on July 27 against approving the NREL planning application for the controversial energy from waste facility in Westbury on the grounds that it does not represent sustainable development. 

The final decision about whether to grant planning permission now passes to an independent planning inspector acting on behalf of the government.

NREL wants the incinerator to burn more than 243,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year to generate electricity.

The company says the facility is an important part of Wiltshire's sustainable future and could create 450 construction jobs and 40 highly-skilled permanent roles.

The plant would be located between Hills’ existing Northacre Resource Recovery Centre waste treatment plant and the Arla Foods dairy plant. Access would be from Stephenson Road, which links via the B3097 to the A350.