Controversial plans for new Hampshire incinerator could be revived after being shot down

PROPOSALS for a new incinerator that were shot down in flames last week could return in some form.

By David George
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 5:17 pm
Lorna Bailey and Ron Lafferty outside Hampshire County Council\'s offices, after the council voted down plans for a new incinerator in Alton. Picture: David George
Lorna Bailey and Ron Lafferty outside Hampshire County Council\'s offices, after the council voted down plans for a new incinerator in Alton. Picture: David George

Last Wednesday, Hampshire County Council voted against plans from Veolia for an incinerator on the A31, near Alton.

Councillors voiced concerns about the impact the 80m stacks would have on the surrounding area, as well as whether the need for a new incinerator actually exists, with three already established in Portsmouth, Basingstoke and Southampton.

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Now, Veolia has told of its disappointment regarding the outcome - but has not ruled out either appealing the decision or submitting a new planning application.

A Veolia spokeswoman said: 'We are disappointed by the regulatory committee’s decision and we will now take some time to consider our next steps for the project.'

The proposed site would have taken in 330,000 tonnes of waste per year - almost 1.5 times more than the incinerator in Portsmouth.

It would have operated outside the Hampshire contract, instead taking in waste from other counties as well, such as Surrey and Dorset.

The facility was also set to produce its own renewable energy, using the incinerator to generate heat and electrical energy - specifically 30 MW of energy, enough to power 75,000 homes.

Nearby residents, who had described the proposed building as a ‘monstrosity’, were elated by the result, but remained acutely aware that their battle may well be far from over.

William Butler, proprietor of West End Flower Farm in Froyle, said locals will have to ‘wait and see’ what Veolia has in store for the future, but said he would be ready to oppose any future appeals or applications.

Christopher Napier, vice-president of CPRE Hampshire, said: ‘It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they did appeal - they’ve put a lot of money and effort into this.

‘That’s what I would expect them to do at least, although the opposition within the regulatory committee was quite high, due not just to landscaping but what might come out of the chimneys.

‘They will have to weigh it up and decide if that opposition is worth the investment of pursuing an appeal.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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