£200m Waterbeach incinerator plans rejected by council

image copyrightAmey
image captionPlans for the new incinerator were submitted to the county council in December

A proposal for a £200m waste incinerator in Cambridgeshire has been rejected - despite planners recommending it for approval.

Waste management firm Amey wanted to create the facility in Waterbeach, providing electricity for 63,000 homes.

However, county councillors voted against it on Monday, citing its impact on the local environment.

A spokesman for Amey said it would "now take time to consider our next steps".

Campaigners have called the result a "victory for local activism".

The incinerator, planned for the company's existing site on Levitt's Field, would convert household and business waste - otherwise destined for landfill - into electricity, heat or a mixture of both.

The company said pollutants would be burned off and emissions strictly regulated by the Environment Agency.

image copyrightAmey
image captionThe plans were rejected due to the impact on the local area

A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire County Council said both the local landscape and heritage were the key points for refusal.

"Members have applied their planning judgement to the impact of the proposal on the landscape (being local character and visual impact) and consider that there will be significant adverse effects," she said.

"This also takes into account the harm to the visual amenity of local residents particularly those living nearest the development."

Guinevere Glasfurd, of Cambridgeshire Without Incineration (CWIN), said locals had "real and grave concerns" about the proximity of the incinerator to the proposed new town at Waterbeach.

However, she said the "impact on the Fenland setting", and the historic Denny Abbey site, were significant as well.

"We are absolutely delighted and relieved that this has been rejected," she said. "Calling it nimbyism is oversimplifying the issue - it is a victory for local activism."

The facility was also opposed by the area's MP, Conservative Lucy Frazer, who said "the right decision was reached".

A spokesman for Amey said: "Building the Energy from Waste facility at Waterbeach Waste Management Park is a sustainable solution for dealing with present and future waste needs in Cambridgeshire and the region - providing an opportunity to increase recycling, generate renewable electricity, create jobs and bring investment to the local area."

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