Desborough waste recycling plant approved

Fresh Air Desborough protesters outside county hall
Image caption Many of the residents against the plans spoke at the planning meeting

Plans to build a waste recycling centre in a Northamptonshire town have been approved by the county council, despite protests from residents.

The £60m plant planned for Desborough will burn landfill waste and convert it into heat and power.

Origin Renewable Energy, the company behind the plan, said it was a clean way to dispose of waste.

Protesters from Fresh Air Desborough said the plant emissions would be unsafe and added they would "fight on".

'Sustainable and cheaper'

Councillors backed the plans after hearing speakers both for and against the project at County Hall in Northampton.

The campaign group's Alan Brooks said: "This technology is relatively new and has not been proven so we intend to fight on.

"We are not sure how this will affect our families and children, especially in 20 years time.

"We wanted assurances that it would be safe but the company has not been able to give any guarantees."

The 1.7 hectare (4.2 acres) facility will be built off Eagle Drive near Magnetic Park in the town, which is 300 metres away from a housing estate.

It would generate power by a process known as advanced gasification, where household waste is turned into gas and burnt to provide electricity.

Origin Renewable Energy submitted the plans to the council in July.

Adam Buxton, the firm's managing director, said: "We are sympathetic to people's concerns but we can't please everyone.

"This plant would be of benefit to the people of Desborough and the county. People would have access to sustainable and cheaper forms of heat and power."

Construction work will start on the project in 2013 with completion expected in 2015, the company said.

The company will need to apply for a permit from the Environment Agency before starting operations.

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