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Residents form anti-incinerator action group

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About 300 people descended on Curridge WI Hall last night (Wednesday) to voice their opposition to Grundon's plan

WITH many forced to stand outside, around 300 people descended on Curridge WI hall to witness the birth of resident action group West Berkshire Against the Grundon Incinerator last night.

A scoping opinion request from waste firm Grundon, in which it outlines plans to build a commercial and municipal waste incinerator in Chieveley, capable of powering 50,000 homes, has sparked concern among the residents of the village, as well as those from Curridge, Hermitage, Cold Ash, and many other areas.

The waste firm has not yet submitted a planning application, but such is the strength of feeling residents have mobilised at the earliest possible opportunity in an attempt to ward off the firm's plans for the site at Old Kiln Quarry near junction 13 of the M4.

Chairman of Chieveley Parish Council Rob Crispin and the chairman of the Curridge Residents Association, Cyril Wood, both addressed the crowd to state that their organisations would not attempt to prejudice any formal planning application, but would scrutinise any formal move by Grundon in great detail when the time arose.

Curridge Residents Association had provided the platform for concerned residents to form a separate group, and under the chairmanship of Curridge resident Werner Sanderson, the aim of the gathering was to explore the proposals in more detail, and to enlist the help of anyone with the skills to pitch in.

Mr Sanderson told the meeting: “The purpose of today is to form an action group to fight Grundon and to get the message across to them and West Berkshire Council. this is not just a Chieveley issue, it affects everybody in West Berkshire.”

Mr Sanderson spoke about the process Grundon will take, the pros and cons of incinerators and where the government sees them in its waste hierarchy.

An appeal for members, such as a vice-chairperson, foot soldiers and fundraising committee members was also made.

The name of the group was chosen following a vote, and a question and answer session following the presentation gave residents and those from further afield a chance to air their concerns.

One member of the crowd said he had worked on incinerators in the past, and could not understand why Grundon had attempted to build such a plant in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Another member of the crowd, James Patrinos, wanted to know why Didcot was not a more preferred option, with a brownfield site currently housing a power station.

Feeling ran high as the questions turned to statements of intent against Grundon's plan, and the meeting eventually drew to a close at just past 9pm.

Anyone who wishes to get involved is asked to email mail@curridgevillage.co.uk until a formal email address for the group is formed.

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