Delight as plans are REFUSED for £50 million incinerator in Pitsea

Campaign - Pitsea Incinerator plans <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Campaign - Pitsea Incinerator plans (Image: Newsquest)

A £50million incinerator will not be built in Pitsea after concerns the noise “would drive people bonkers”.

Despite being recommended for approval, controversial plans to build the huge incinerator to burn waste from across the county were thrown out on Friday at an Essex County Council meeting.

If approved, the incinerator would have featured two large chimneys, burnt 150,000 tonnes of waste a year and operated 24 hours a day.

Clearaway Recycling, which operates a recycling plant in Pitsea which caught fire in January, was behind the plan.

During the meeting, Essex County councillor Susan Barker said:  “Material deliveries will occur 24 hours a day and the site will operate 24 hours a day. To me, that is a mental health thing. It will drive people bonkers.”

Craig Rimmer, former Conservative Pitsea councillor at Basildon Council, who fought against the plan alongside late Basildon mayor Luke Mackenzie, said: “I am really happy. It was since I have been campaigning on ever since it was announced with Luke, who would be delighted.

“To finally see it refused by the Essex County Council planning department is just brilliant news, and a relief to everybody in that area.

“It was quite clear the incinerators had to run 24 hours a day too, so it would have been a continuous flow of waste and trucks.”

The reasons given for refusal included the close proximity to a residential area, the scale and height of the development, and the Government’s moratorium on incinerators.

Aidan McGurran, Labour county councillor for Pitsea, said: “If the incinerator had been approved it would have been a nightmare for residents. In terms of smell, noise, and traffic it would have had a massive impact. And there were also question marks about safety. For once Pitsea is not being dumped on by Essex County Council.”

New Pitsea North West councillor, Emma Callaghan, also attended the meeting and praised the decision to prevent “toxic air filling the streets of Pitsea”.

She added: “Our residents deserve this result. Finally it feels like Labour has forced the Tories into seeing common sense after all these years. Pitsea has been dumped on by the Conservatives for far too long.”