MORE than 700 people have lodged new objections to plans for a massive waste recycling plant in Brierley Hill.
Action group SNOW* (Say No tO Waste-site) says 707 residents have aired concerns over plans by Clean Power (UK) Ltd to build a state-of-the-art indoor energy conversion centre on old railway sidings off Moor Street.
The company is seeking approval from the Environment Agency to operate the proposed £40m plant, ahead of an anticipated second bid to Dudley Council for planning permission for the high-tech centre following an initial refusal last summer.
Members of SNOW, however, remain determined to see off the plans for good.
Spokesman Tim Lee said: “Opposition to the proposed waste site is continuing to grow with the increasing realisation of the negative impact it would have on local families, schools and the Brierley Hill area as a whole.”
He said “risks to health and well-being arising from offensive odours” and the site’s proximity to residents’ homes and nearby Brockmoor Primary School were among the reasons for the concerns highlighted by objectors during a consultation by the Environment Agency which closed on July 20.
Mr Lee added: “Anaerobic digesters have a high recorded rate of catastrophic failure.
“With the planned facility in the middle of such a densely populated area, the risk to local families and children would be far too high in the event of such a failure.”
The Environment Agency said it would be seeking additional information from Clean Power before a decision on whether to grant or refuse an environmental permit could be made.
A spokesman said: “We are still assessing the application made to us and preparing the questions that we need to ask.
“Once this is complete and sent to the applicant it will be placed on the public register. Once the applicant’s response is received, the information provided will also be placed on the public register and we will continue our assessment taking this further information into account.”
Clean Power, which is working to develop similar facilities at other sites across the UK, has dismissed concerns the Brierley Hill centre would release unpleasant odours into the atmosphere.
The company says the air-tight design of the proposed building would mean smells could not escape - and the proposed facility would create up to 30 new jobs and produce renewable energy for up to around 10,000 homes.