Furious residents have vowed to fight plans for a £200m incinerator on the site of Kellingley Colliery, which would burn up to 280,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Plans for Southmoor Energy Centre, which, if approved, will power 63,000 homes, were submitted to North Yorkshire County Council last week by Peel Environmental.
Residents –who claim the plant will have an impact on pollution and traffic in nearby Knottingley, Byram, Brotherton and Fairburn – have vowed to fight the proposals.
Sue Ackroyd, who has lived near the colliery for five years , says she’s already afraid to let her three disabled children play outside alone because of the volume of traffic near her home.
Mrs Ackroyd, 61, said: “I daren’t let my children play outside and if this goes ahead there will be an extra 60 lorries per hour coming right past my door.
“We have got to keep on fighting and we will do whatever it takes to stop it.”
Campaigners also fear the increase in pollution could be harmful.
Vicky Watson, of Shaftesbury Avenue, Eggborough, says she is worried about her five month old daughter Molly.
Mrs Watson, 35, said: “This is where my daughter is going to be growing up. It’s her future and who knows what this proposal would be polluting.
“Already you go for a walk and there is dust everywhere and lorries rumbling past - this would just add to it.”
Coun Mary McCartney, who represents the Eggborough ward on Selby Council, said the area was becoming known for having high amounts of pollution and developers were targeting it for that reason.
She said: “The plant, if it goes ahead, will be serviced by hundreds of HGVs using the A645 through either Knottingley or Eggborough.
“Most of what will be burnt will be carbon based so this plant will do nothing to stop global warming and there will be other nasty particles, which although we will not be able to see them, can be extremely harmful to people’s health.
“If waste is going to be burnt, then it should be burnt where it is generated, not hauled around the country to pollute other people’s environment.”
Peel Enviornmental said it had carried out studies and public talks on the proposals before the application was submitted.
Richard Barker, the company’s development manager, said: “Feedback from our pre-application consultation with the local community has helped shape our proposals.
“The rail study was particularly positive, and shows that up to 170,000 tonnes of waste could be transported to the facility by rail.
“The centre will use up to 280,000 tonnes per year of non-hazardous residual waste including industrial, commercial and possibly household from across the region, diverting it from landfill and producing renewable energy.”
Peel say if approved, the energy centre, which will be privately funded, will create up to 38 full-time jobs.