Call for medical waste incinerator proposal to be "abandoned"

Outside of Burgess Hall, in St Ives, campaigners from POWI gathered to show their support against the plans. 

Outside of Burgess Hall, in St Ives, campaigners from POWI gathered to show their support against the plans. - Credit: Archant

There are calls for plans for a medical waste incinerator at Woodhurst to be "abandoned".

In a report submitted by HDC to Cambridge County Council (CCC), HDC raised concerns about the visual impact an incinerator will have on the landscape and suggested amendments.

Last year, waste management company Envar submitted proposals to build a waste energy recovery facility. The facility will include a 26-metre high chimney stack at the Heath, Woodhurst.

The recommendations in HDC's report state: "The volume, height, and frequency of anticipated white plumes is still not clear, and therefore it is difficult to make a judgement on whether the landscape and visual effects of the development would be acceptable.

Cllr Ryan Fuller said: "I welcome the conclusion of the district council's planning officer that the proposal by Envar should be resisted.

"The application as it currently stands is both inappropriate and fails to meet the standards the district council expects.

"Envar must now start listening to the concerns being raised by the local community and local councils rather than simply assuming that they can push this scheme through.

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"I would urge Envar to recognise the strength of local feeling on this issue and abandon this unpopular and unnecessary proposal that has caused so much worry and upset for local residents.

"If they won't, then I would once again call upon Cambridgeshire County Council to reject the application."

The campaign group, People Opposing Woodhurst Incinerator (POWI), was set up to fight against Envar's project due to a variety of concerns, not just visual.

A member of the POWI campaign group, Lorna Watkins, said: "I am delighted HDC is resisting this incinerator application as it stands and so they should because it still seems to have more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

"Thousands of residents in St Ives and surrounding villages are against it due to health, environment, traffic and air pollution concerns.

"However, HDC is not the deciding authority, the county council is, so they can only suggest improvements.

"Sadly, no amount of tree or hedge planting they propose will hide an ugly 26 m chimney stack belching out a white plume day or night and emitting a tonne of CO2 for every tonne of waste torched."

A spokesperson from CCC said: "Even if no further information is required, the absolute earliest the item would go to Planning Committee is June 2022."