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Public meeting called after more than 3,000 objections are written about proposed incinerator

PUBLISHED: 13:22 27 September 2017

Campaigners pictured in 2015 during the fight against the proposed incinerator. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Campaigners pictured in 2015 during the fight against the proposed incinerator. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Archant

A public meeting will be held in Coggeshall this Friday, after more than 3,000 written objections were sent to Essex County Council about a proposed incinerator.

The meeting will discuss plans to increase the height of the chimney, which is set to be part of a waste facility plant at Rivenhall Airfield.

The incinerator, which was put forward by Gent Fairhead & Co Ltd, was granted planning permission in 2010, but a condition was attached that meant the chimney could not be more than 35 metres above ground level.

Once The Environment Agency saw the plans, however, it refused to sign over a permit allowing a chimney of this height.

The permit means that specific conditions are placed on the company in order to limit emissions and is decided on after taking into account impacts the plant could have on things including human health, air, water, land, habitats and species of animals and plants.

The company has now submitted a revised application and adjusted its incinerator stack height from 35 metres to 58 metres – something The Environment Agency said it was happy with earlier this year.

For residents though, they say more public consultation is needed and fear the impact the plant will have on nearby communities and roads.

They are also concerned the site will become a “brown elephant” in the Essex countryside and argue there are already enough incineration plants in the region.

Priti Patel, MP for Witham, also supports the fight against the plans.

She said: “The incinerator is unwelcome and will cause harm to this part of Essex. The decision-making process needs more transparency and the views of local residents must be heard. It would be appalling if the incinerator was built and I remain deeply concerned about how this process has been handled.

“Since the incinerator was originally granted planning permission over seven years ago the plans have constantly changed and altered causing more anxiety and worry to local communities. I will continue to stand up for local residents and oppose this damaging development.”

The meeting will be held at Coggeshall Village Hall on September 29 and is open for anyone to attend.

Residents have also urged representatives from Gent Fairhead to attend and say they hope to understand more about the plans.

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