£50 million incinerator in Pitsea set to be approved despite major concerns raised

Concerns - Craig Rimmer, former Conservative Pitsea councillor <i>(Image: Craig Rimmer)</i>
Concerns - Craig Rimmer, former Conservative Pitsea councillor (Image: Craig Rimmer)

A £50MILLION incinerator to burn waste from across the county is set to be approved despite major concerns over its impact on residents.

Controversial plans for the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate, in Pitsea, are set to get the green light on Friday just three months after Essex County Council councillors voted to defer a decision over a lack of information.

Clearaway Recycling is behind the plan and already operates a recycling plant in Pitsea which was at the centre of a blaze in January after 250 tonnes of recycling and plant machinery caught fire.

The incinerator would feature two huge chimneys and burn landfill waste delivered by the truckload.

Councillors have repeatedly attempted to block the plans over the impact on air quality and the health of residents.

Craig Rimmer, former Conservative Pitsea councillor, said: “It is totally in the wrong area. There is very little acknowledgement in the report that there are residents that live very close by.

“I understand on a site visit they used a balloon to see how tall it would be, and it could be seen from other parts of the borough it was that high. We also don’t know, simply have no idea, what the future health risks could be from the facility that is pumping out toxins into the atmosphere.

“The councillors last time decided to defer it, and I hope they go one step further and refuse permission.”

Ahead of a Essex County Council development and regulation meeting on Friday, it has been recommended the plans are approved and the application is “acceptable”. The incinerator at the industrial estate in Archers Fields would burn non-hazardous residual waste to generate enough power for 20,000 homes.

Gavin Callaghan, leader of the Labour group at Basildon Council, said: “We have always been against the toxic incinerator in Pitsea and we believe the Conservatives must think again. We don’t believe a thorough environmental impact assessment has been undertaken.

“Just a few years ago, the Tory Government and Tory county council wanted to impose a congestion charge on the A127 because of toxic levels of air at the Nevendon roundabout. Now they plan to have hundreds of heavy vehicle movements around the same roundabout each day. Bringing the county’s waste to Pitsea to be burnt, it is only going to lead to worse air quality. The incinerator will be the tip of the iceberg.”