Plans for a waste incinerator on the outskirts of Preston have been given the go-ahead.
Lancashire County Council’s development control committee approved the proposal for the plant – on the Red Scar Industrial Estate off Longridge Road – which will burn non-hazardous residual waste.
A petition opposing the facility was signed by more than 700 people and over 430 official objections were lodged with County Hall.
The committee heard claims from locals about emissions from the incinerator and their impact on health, as well as traffic concerns.
Eleven-year-old Anna Anna Basnyet-Steingold from Grimsargh told members that older generations like theirs had only one thing left to take away from children of her age – clean air.
In outlining her opposition, Sue Lomax, a member of the group Residents Against Longridge Road Energy Centre, said she was not “a nimby”.
“This shouldn’t be anybody’s back yard,” she warned.
But Paul Zanin, planning director for the applicant Miller Turner, emphasised that Public Health England had recently declared that waste recovery plants like the one proposed do not pose “a measurable risk to health”.
Committee members focused on highways issues and the fact that the development would add almost 200 vehicle movements a day to roads in the area once it was operational – and some refused to support the application as a result.
A condition was added that signage must be installed at the exit to the facility to ensure that HGVs follow a specified route to the motorway network.
In papers presented to committee members, planning officers concluded that the development would not be “incongruous”, in spite of its size – because it would be located in an industrial area.
They add that the environmental permit which will be have to be obtained separately in order to operate the facility means that “it should be assumed that there are unlikely to be any unacceptable adverse impacts on the environment…or local residents.”
The application was approved by a majority of seven votes to four.