Concerns over plans for medical waste incinerator in Hunts village

Concerns have been raised over plans to build a Medical waste incinerator near St Ives. 

Concerns have been raised over plans to build a Medical waste incinerator near St Ives. - Credit: Google Images

Concerns have been raised over plans to build a large hospital waste incinerator - with a 26-metre high chimney stack - in a Huntingdonshire village. 

Waste management company EnVar has put in a planning application for a Healthcare Waste Energy Recovery Facility at The Heath, Woodhurst.  

The healthcare waste will come from local hospitals, including Hinchingbrooke Hospital and doctors and dentists who require high temperature destruction.   

Some concerns have already been raised by those living in Bluntisham and surrounding villages.  

Bluntisham Parish Council object to the plans, a spokesman said: "The parish council are planning to object to the development and will do so using material planning considerations applicable to this development and this will be submitted to Cambridgeshire County Council ahead of the closing date." 

A public consultation has been launched and the deadline has now been extended to Friday, September 10. 

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson said: “The planning process allows people to make comments on applications received by Cambridgeshire County Council as the local planning authority. 

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"Any decisions will be based on material planning issues and will have appropriate input from statutory consultees such as the Environment Agency, Public Health and Huntingdonshire District Council officers. 

"Before any decisions are reached, the officer report will address any material planning concerns raised by local communities. 

"Having consulted with county councillor Steve Criswell, we have agreed an extension for the consultation until September 10 to ensure that any concerns raised by local residents can be considered by town and parish councils."

Woodhurst Parish Council, near to the Envar site, will hold their parish council meeting on September 14. 

In the plans Health Assessment report it states: "People living in the vicinity of the EnVar site may be exposed to marginally higher levels of Dioxins as a result of the operation of the proposed HERF for the proportion of the time that they spend there.

"Accordingly, this pathway is considered relevant to the current assessment, and the default values recommended by the US EPA were used as the basis for assessment."

A spokesman for Envar said: "Envar Composting are thrilled to be launching a truly innovative concept at their existing site at Woodhurst.  

"This will feature the UK’s first large scale Dry AD plant which takes in green and food waste combined, producing top quality compost as well as biogas that is fed into the National Grid or used as vehicle fuel.

"Dry AD is a well proven technology very common in Europe and enables a very controlled processing environment with sites often very close to residential areas without any odour nuisance.

"Normally heat from these healthcare facilities is released to the atmosphere whereas in this case all the heat will be beneficially used for the organic processing side of things.

"In addition a carbon friendly fertiliser pellet plant will be included which utilises site processes to produce a low carbon fertiliser equivalent."