Protests as waste plant is approved

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Proposals for a new waste energy plant have been given a provisional go-ahead despite a protest outside County Hall.

Campaigners from the Fresh Air Desborough group have objected to the plans to build the centre, which could generate eight megawatts of electricity a year – enough to power about 8,000 homes.

But protesters say they are worried the site could prove to be a health risk to residents who live nearby. The council has approved the plans subject to the all-clear from the Environment Agency.

Opponents of the plan gathered outside the county council headquarters on November 20, to try to persuade the council’s development control committee not to approve the proposals.

One of the lead protesters, Gary White, said they had been expecting the decision.

He said: “It does seem like councillors can’t say no to these things. I’m not surprised because it’s how democracy apparently works at the moment. We need to upscale our protests a little bit. We have no voice.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “Various planning conditions were included on issues such as restricting the volume of waste, where the waste comes from and limiting traffic movements.

“Before the facility can be operated an environmental permit will be required from the Environment Agency to ensure the development operates in a safe way and meets EU emissions standards.”

Protesters had also collected a 2,939-signature petition, which was handed over by Desborough councillor Belinda Humfrey.