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Waste-burning plant plans for Burghfield hit by controversy

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Pollution and noise concerns raised by residents

Concerns have been raised about plans to build a large waste-burning plant in Burghfield.

J Mould (Reading) Limited wants to construct an energy recovery centre that can take in around 150,000 tonnes of waste each year and use it to generate electricity and heat.

At these facilities, waste is burnt in a 1,000ºC furnace to generate steam that drives a turbine.

The company wants to build the large plant (63.5 metres wide and 24.4 metres high) and a data monitoring centre on land at Reading Quarry, in Berrys Lane, where it currently operates a waste management facility.

But several people have objected to the plans, raising concerns about noise and air pollution and heavy goods vehicles using small rural roads to access the site.

West Berkshire Council is due to make a decision on the planning application in the coming months.

Adrian Pulleyn said: "This is a massive project and it’s going to have an impact on our lives and all of our neighbours’ lives.

"It’s going to massively devalue all of our houses and the local infrastructure won’t be able to take it. Waste lorries will be coming and going 24/7."

He added: "It will completely wreck the whole area."

In a written objection, Alice Bevan said: "The proposed development will negatively impact the local environment and increase pollution in the area through combustion emissions."

She also said that if plans are approved, the company should be required to "provide compensation or an offer of purchase for the properties adversely impacted by the development".

According to the plans, the plant will be "equipped with the latest technology" to ensure "complete combustion with low emissions".

The company plans to treat the gas that is emitted by injecting it with various substances, to reduce levels of nitrogen, hydrogen chloride, and oxides of sulphur, dioxins and heavy metals.

The council’s scientific advisor officer Russell Davidson says these measures will be "sufficient" to reduce the impact of the emissions on people living nearby.

The plans also state that the access road, which runs off Berrys Lane, will be widened to accommodate two-way HGV traffic.

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