Protest over plans for £150m incinerator ‘the size of Big Ben’

Dozens protest against plans for an incinerator in Horsham.
Dozens protest against plans for an incinerator in Horsham.

Dozens of residents turned out in protest against plans to build a new £150m incinerator in Horsham.

Around 60 people gathered outside the proposed site in Langhurstwood Road on Sunday (January 8) to object to the application put forward by Britaniacrest to build a Recycling, Recovery and Renewable Energy facility.

Dozens protest against plans for an incinerator in Horsham.

Dozens protest against plans for an incinerator in Horsham.

The waste management company already has permission to use the former Wealden Brickworks site as a waste transfer site to manage and process commercial, industrial and municipal waste.

Members from campaign groups including Noincinerator4Horsham and Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) were joined by local residents, wearing face masks as they held up banners and expressed their anger over the plans.

Sally Pavey, trustee of CPRE Sussex, said: “Residents should not be misinformed that the proposed incinerator will not affect them as it will.

“This incinerator will have a chimney as tall as Big Ben and I have never seen a tree as tall as that so it will be seen for some 15km including from rural communities and areas of outstanding natural beauty.”

Dozens protest against plans for an incinerator in Horsham.

Dozens protest against plans for an incinerator in Horsham.

The application says the facility will sort around 230,000 tonnes of waste per year, breaking it up into what can be recycled or reused.

Waste which can not be recycled or reused will be incinerated and turned into electricity which will power both the station and homes.

In total the new building would be approximately 119.5m in length and 99m wide with a 95m chimney created at the east of the site.

Campaigners claim the proposed facility would have a detrimental impact on the landscape calling it an ‘ugly blockhouse-like’ building which would be ‘impossible to conceal’.

View of site of new incinerator. Photo contributed by Britaniacrest.

View of site of new incinerator. Photo contributed by Britaniacrest.

They also raised concerns about the health impact of emissions, the traffic caused by multiple heavy goods vehicles and the issue of the building being close to the North Horsham development, where thousands of homes and new schools will be created.

“This proposal will blight the whole of the Horsham area dealing in commercial and industrial waste from the southern counties which clearly goes against the West Sussex County Council waste plan which stipulates that waste is to be dealt with at local facilities,” Sally added.

On submitting planning application Britaniacrest said the site was ‘unique in a number of ways’.

Chris Foss, of Britaniacrest, said: “The site is hidden from view and is flanked by a landfill, a Mechanical Biological Waste treatment plant and a brickworks.

“It is a previously used brownfield site and already hosts various waste management activities. We have carried out extensive studies on the proposal, which show it to have net positive environmental benefits.

“Wealden Works is, therefore, a very suitable location for this type of development.”

Residents can comment on the application by visiting https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/planning/find-a-planning-application/ using reference WSCC/062/16/NH.

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