Hundreds fight incinerator proposals

MP's Craig Whittaker & Holly Lynch, with ward councillors, at a joint public meeting in relation to several contentious planning applications for incinerators, from Calder Valley Skip Hire, at locations in Sowerby Bridge
MP's Craig Whittaker & Holly Lynch, with ward councillors, at a joint public meeting in relation to several contentious planning applications for incinerators, from Calder Valley Skip Hire, at locations in Sowerby Bridge

Campaigners packed out a meeting to protest against proposals to operate two incinerators in Sowerby Bridge.

The first of the two sets of plans, submitted by Calder Valley Skip Hire, is a change of use application for the Belmont Recycling Centre at Rochdale Road, while the second is an environmental permit request for the firm’s Mearclough Road site, both in Sowerby Bridge.

Craig Whittaker & Holly Lynch are chairing a joint public meeting in relation to several contentious planning applications for incinerators, from Calder Valley Skip Hire, at locations in Sowerby Bridge

Craig Whittaker & Holly Lynch are chairing a joint public meeting in relation to several contentious planning applications for incinerators, from Calder Valley Skip Hire, at locations in Sowerby Bridge

Hundreds of people have expressed their opposition to the plans over concerns about air pollution and around 200 attended the meeting.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch said: “This demonstrates the real strength of feeling against the proposals for these incinerators which could have a major impact on air quality in the valley.

“As well as making my own objections clear I will continue to press the council to demand that the applicant seeks planning permission for the Mearclough site so that the plans can receive the full scrutiny they need”.

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker said: “My office has received dozens of enquiries from residents in relation to the planning applications and I am aware of the significant concerns that local residents have in relation to the impact that the incinerators may have upon our community.

“The response from the community has been superb with over 500 objections to the plans submitted so far.

“I would urge any local residents who have not yet submitted a representation to do so to ensure that their voice is heard.”

Protestors have argued that a change of use application rather than a environmental permit request should be in place for the Mearclough site as well as the Belmont site.

“The two sites fall within both of Calderdale parliamentary constituencies.

The plans for the Belmont site complied with regulations “par excellence”, according to a report from Calder Valley Skip Hire that will be considered by the council before a decision is made.

It added: “The proposals will substantially reduce the quantity of residual waste held in storage and the length of time such waste is held in storage.

“This will be beneficial in its own right but, particularly beneficial as additional mitigation of potential odour emission and flood contamination risk and will assist facilitation of flood resilience measures.

“They will support and enhance the Council’s ‘green credentials’ by diverting its own produced waste from landfill to an energy recovery option.

“They are the most meritorious of proposals and it is submitted that they should be approved and planning permission be granted.”