Campaigners opposed to power plant plans remain upbeat ahead of key planning meeting

CONCERNS: The Woodford site in Warboys where the combined heat and power plant could go

CONCERNS: The Woodford site in Warboys where the combined heat and power plant could go - Credit: Archant

Villagers campaigning against plans for a combined heat and power plant in Warboys say they remain positive ahead of a key planning meeting at which the application could be given the go-ahead.

The plant – which would be used to evaporate contaminated water from dump sites – is proposed by Sycamore Planning Ltd at Warboys landfill site, off Puddock Road.

The plan is set to go before Cambridgeshire County Council’s planning committee on Thursday and has been recommended for approval by council officers, though the Warboys Landfill Action Group say they remain confident of making a strong case against the plan.

Betty Ball, chairman of the action group, said: “We will be going in [to the planning meeting] fighting. We have a lot of experts who will be putting forward our case, including technical engineering experts, specialists who are concerned about the environmental impact, and retired professors who are concerned about health issues.

“We have been quite frustrated by the planning process but we think we have an awful lot of strong points to raise. We think it is an untried system that has been put out into the community without being properly tested.”

Sycamore Planning has said the system is safe, emissions would have to meet strict controls set by the Environment Agency, and that materials being brought on to the site would be tested rigorously.

Villagers have been up in arms for decades over the safety of the landfill site where hazardous waste was dumped. The site has closed to dumping and the land is being reinstated.

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The plan involves the construction of a combined heat and power plant which would burn tonnes of waste wood a year in a separate water treatment facility to evaporate leachate soaking out of the site at Warboys and other dumps in a 30-mile radius. Some electricity generated through the process would go in to the grid.

It is proposed that waste would be received between 7am to 7pm, from Mondays to

Fridays, and between 7am and 1pm on Saturdays and that the plant would operate

24 hours per day, seven days a week with a two-week planned shut down for maintenance.

Cambridgeshire County Council decided initially that the plan did not require an environmental impact statement but changed its mind after being challenged by experts representing the action group.