Hereford & Worcester

Hartlebury incinerator plans unanimously approved

Plans to build a waste incinerator in Worcestershire have been approved.

Councillors at Worcestershire County Council planning meeting voted unanimously to approve the 200,000-tonne energy from waste facility

It is set be built near Hartlebury and deal with waste from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

The decision on whether to allow the council to formally grant permission will now be referred to the secretary of state for local government.

Residents' concern

Eric Pickles, Minister for Communities and Local Government, will have the final say on plans because the land where the incinerator would be built is green belt.

John Plant, from Mercia Waste Management, said: "We're very relieved, we've been involved in this planning application for over 12 months - it's been a very significant piece of work.

"There's a history of these things going against officers' recommendations - the officers recommend on all the information that comes forward that this should be approved."

Louise Brooks, who lives near the site, said she was very worried about the plans.

"You only have to look up all the incinerators around the country, look at all the problems they have - that's why I'm concerned."

More than 700 people took part in public consultations about the plans last year.

The meeting was broadcast live on the council website, a decision that was made because there was only room for 140 people to attend.

The officers' report in the council minutes and agendas recommends the planning committee be "minded to approve" the application.

West Mercia Waste Management said the plans would also create 42 jobs to generate enough power for up to 20,000 homes.

If the minister approves the scheme, the work would start in autumn, to be completed in 2014.

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