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Council leader vows to fight incinerator plans

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West Berkshire Council's Conservative leader says there is "no need" for waste plant in Chieveley

THE leader of West Berkshire Council has said his administration will do “whatever is necessary” to support residents in their fight against plans by waste firm Grundon to build a new incinerator, capable of converting energy to power 50,000 homes, at a greenfield site in Chieveley.

Graham Jones (Con, Lambourn), today (Tuesday) said: “The proposed site lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there is simply no need for this site in this area. This is about recycling commercial waste, not residential waste, for which we already have made sufficient provision.

“It would not be appropriate for West Berkshire to suffer an increased level of commercial vehicle activity that a site such as this would bring."

He said local people were strongly against the idea and his party would do all it could to support them.

Mr Jones comments come the day after a member of his administration, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley), said she would stand down as a member of the Western Area Planning Committee should the item eventually go before planning officers and councillors, in order to speak on behalf of her ward.

Other parties in West Berkshire, including the Liberal Democrats, Labour, and the Green Party, all voiced their disapproval over the plans, which feature 85-metre high stacks, and generators capable of burning 350,000 tonnes of waste per year, yesterday.

Grundon has not yet applied for planning permission, and would need to pass stringent criteria which dictates what can and cannot be built on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The waste firm has submitted a scoping opinion request to West Berkshire Council to seek formal response from the council over which environment regulations it would need to comply with in order to build such a facility.

Part of the proposals also include an extension to the sand and gravel extraction arm of the firm, into a large area of land adjacent to the site.

Grundon has said it intends to respond promptly to questions put to it by Newburytoday.co.uk surrounding the proposals.

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