CAMPAIGNERS and councillors are lining up in opposition against plans to burn more waste at the new Lostock sustainable energy plant.
LSEP Ltd, the firm which acquired the site in 2017, wants to increase the amount of waste used as fuel from 600,000 to 728,000 tonnes a year.
The company insists it will have environmental benefits by diverting more waste from landfill, but residents in the surrounding area will be faced with more lorry journeys travelling to and from the site.
Previous plans for the site suggest there would be 276 lorry movements per day, but at Monday’s Northwich Town Council meeting, Cllr Sam Naylor told members the proposal would see this increase to 434 per day.
He said: “I would hope that Northwich Town Council will say we are against this, in terms of the traffic increase alone, and I am sure Cheshire West and Chester Council will adopt the same [stance].
“It won’t go before our planning committee unfortunately, because this is a Government minister decision, but we are facing the prospect of a big increase in HGV traffic along Griffiths Road.”
The move comes just a year since the Government gave the go-ahead for the £480 million plant to increase its power capacity from 60MW to 90MW.
Cllr Graham Emmett said: “A year ago they said there would be no increase in the amount of fuel they would need to import, and we all questioned that.
“Now they are coming to us and saying ‘we do need the extra fuel’, so they have done a two-stage con trick on us.”
The Cheshire Anti-incinerator Network (Chain), which has long stood against the scheme, rallied its supporters over the weekend with a newsletter urging councillors and MPs to ‘act on their constituents’ behalf’ by objecting to the ‘crossly irresponsible’ proposal.
Esther McVey, Conservative MP for Tatton, fears waste will need to be imported to keep the site running and believes the plant contradicts the Government’s environmental policy.
She said: “While I have always opposed this, given it is going ahead we must do everything we can to ensure the health of residents is protected and monitored.
“I am taking matters up with Government as at a time when we are all being told to recycle more, take care of the environment and reduce carbon emissions, it makes no sense this incinerator can go ahead.”
Click here to see what the firm said as it unveiled its latest plans for Lostock last week.
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