Oxford

Oxfordshire waste incinerator agreed despite protests

Artist image of Ardley facility
Image caption A computer-generated image of how the Ardley incinerator could look

A waste-burning incinerator is to be built in north Oxfordshire after councillors approved the plans despite protests from residents.

Plans for the site near the M40 at Ardley were submitted after a first bid was rejected last year.

Waste firm Viridor said the plant would be able to turn 300,000 tonnes of waste into electricity.

Councillors said the new plan was "more acceptable" as it only gave permission for the incinerator for 35 years.

Members believe the condition will mean the countryside can be restored in the future when there is no longer a need for the plant in light of better recycling rates.

Viridor challenged the refusal last year and a public inquiry was held with the planning inspector due to make a decision in January next year.

'Deflated'

But in the meantime the second application was submitted which has now won approval.

Councillors said they were happy that the 35-year term meant the incinerator would be "temporary".

But campaigners said the fight was far from over with protesters looking into legal challenges.

Jonathan O'Neil, from Ardley Against the Incinerator, said: "It is not the outcome we wanted.

"Twelve months ago we had planning application overturned and now a virtually same application is approved.

"It is one of those days we are deflated but we still have options."

His group is opposed to the effect on the countryside, increased traffic and do not believe there is a need for such a large plant.

In August, a cross-party group of 12 councillors urged the council to rethink its plans for the incinerator, saying it was not in the interests of the people of Oxfordshire.

But the county council says an incinerator represents the best deal to get rid of the county's non-recyclable waste.

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