Campaign against incinerator plans

Artists impression of proposed incinerator, Wheldon Road, Castleford
Artists impression of proposed incinerator, Wheldon Road, Castleford

Protesters fear plans to build a new waste incinerator plant could increase pollution and cause traffic chaos.

Clean Power Properties and Network Rail Infrastructure have submitted plans for an energy recovery centre just off Wheldon Road in Castleford.

The plant would burn up to 195,000 tonnes of industrial and residential waste per year and be in operation 24 hours a day.

Alison Drake, chairwoman of Castleford Heritage Trust, said: “I object to these plans on all counts. They would be highly detrimental and the entire town would be affected.

“The fight against the plans is huge already. It’s gone viral on the internet and a lot of people are objecting to these proposals.”

The plans include the construction of an advanced conversion technology plant, which would burn waste to produce enough energy to power 10,000 homes.

A new access road, visitor centre and rail sidings would also be built at the site, which is between Wheldon Road and Healdfield Road.

Protestors successfully fought similar plans for a £40m waste plant on the old Wheldale Colliery site in 2006.

Campaigner Michael Wilkinson, of Wheldon Lane, said: “The roads aren’t adequate to carry the amount of traffic that will be generated. Lock Lane roundabout is congested at the best of times, and at busy periods traffic is backed up in all directions.

“The site is also next to the Castleford Air Quality Management Area which I believe breaches national air quality levels.”

Clean Power Properties and Network Rail Infrastructure said the plans would create around 30 new jobs and contribute £1m per year to the local economy.

He added: “Our plans are a great way to prevent locally produced waste from going to local landfill and incineration.

“We want to safely generate renewable electricity and heat.

“The scheme cannot be compared to traditional waste incineration, it is a totally modern scheme and the application documents show very clearly how far the industry has come in re-using recyclable materials and organic waste in a clean and sustainable way.

“This is a huge local benefit, as well of course as helping to stop local landfilling.”

Campaigners will hold a public meeting about the plans at Trinity Methodist Church, on Powell Street, Castleford, on Monday, February 24 at 7pm.

Those wishing to comment on the plans have until February 28 to submit their views to Wakefield Council.