Amey says community is backing its plans for £200m state of the art new energy plant at Waterbeach

Amey submits application for £200 million waste treatment facility in Cambridgeshire. Pictured is an

Amey submits application for £200 million waste treatment facility in Cambridgeshire. Pictured is an artist impression of the proposed facility. - Credit: Archant

Amey is claiming community support for its proposals to build a £200 million energy-from-waste plant on a 12 acre site at Waterbeach.

The company says that of 27 forms returned following public presentations to local communities, 26 were “supporting or strongly supporting” its proposals.

Critics include Landbeach parish council who believes the “effects of a system breakdown or malfunction have not been fully considered.

“The toxic nature of the materials being incinerated and the products of incineration mean that in the event of a failure of the exhaust filtering, odour management or similar systems, there could be emissions that are harmful to people.”

They want “legally enforceable and binding requirements on the operator to plan for, monitor, publically acknowledge and rapidly respond to faults, including shut-down of the plant” prior to any permission being granted.

Cambridgeshire County Council is in the final stage of consultation on the application that, if approved, could lead to the creation of around 300 jobs. The new plant would provide electricity to 63,000 homes.

Robin Edmondson of Amey believes the new plant would allow the company to reduce the volume of waste being land filled.

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Waterbeach Labour Party is running a social media campaign questioning whether public consultation has been extensive enough.

Labour activist Gareth Wright – a former council candidate - says Amey “has a chequered history at this site.

“The Environment Agency has previously taken action relating to emissions from the current reprocessing site, which is still far too smelly.

“Just last year residents were forced to keep windows and doors closed in August as 500 tonnes of rubbish caught fire.”

He said: “Assurances are that the technology is safe but incinerators have been linked to an increase in birth defects and infant mortality.

“With the close proximity of the proposed housing development is this a gamble that current and future residents are prepared to take?

“We think that Waterbeach and the adjacent communities deserve far more information and consultation.”

Amey says the new plant would process around 250,000 tonnes of residual waste per annum.

It would have would have an electricity generating capacity of around 28 MW and would require a new grid connection.

It is proposed the facility would process waste and generate electricity on a 24 hour basis.

Waste would be brought on site between the hours of 6am and 7pm seven days a week.

The site is next to the existing Mechanical Biological Treatment Facility on the Waterbeach Waste Management Park.

Historic England called the new plant “a dominant and alien structure” that would result in serious harm to the setting of nearby Denny Abbey.

They want the county council to urge Amey to look for alternative sites or upgrade the existing treatment plant.

“Historic England objects to the proposed development on heritage grounds,” says its letter to the county council