PROTESTERS turned out for a march in Northwich earlier today to demonstrate against plans to expand Lostock incinerator.

Local councillors and Northwich MP Mike Amesbury joined members of the public for the march, which began at Griffiths Park on Middlewich Road then headed along nearby roads before finishing at the Lostock site gate.

Construction of the £480m Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant (LSEP) at Lostock Works was given planning permission by the government in 2012 and is still being built.

But the company has submitted an application to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to increase the amount of waste it is allowed to burn rise from 600,000 to 728,000 tonnes a year. It would also mean a huge increase in the number of daily HGV movements at the plant from 262 to 434.

Speaking at the demonstration, Mike Amesbury said: “This plant should never have been given the go-ahead in the first place, the council objected  but the then coalition government approved it.

“That variation should not happen.

“HGVs are not the greenest form of transport, they’ll be spewing out their diesel all over the community and clogging up local roads.”

Northwich Labour councillor Sam Naylor, added: “I think we’ve been sleepwalking as a community over this issue for many, many years now but it’s great to see the community coming together.

“I’m really hopeful that we can get this variation stopped, but regardless of how it goes, I think the next phase will be to say if we’ve got to have all this waste coming into Northwich, it’s got to come in by rail, that is the sensible option.”

Rudheath councillor Helen Treeby (Conservative), added: “I am fighting along with Sam to do all we can to stop this.”

LSEP Ltd said an expansion would support Cheshire West and Chester’s net zero transition by generating enough sustainable energy to power approximately 148,000 homes.

A public consultation is taking place until December 2.

Comments can be sent to the BEIS Energy Infrastructure Planning team by emailing and referencing ‘Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant – Section 36 Consent Variation Application’.

The application can be viewed online here.

Copies of the documents are also available for inspection at Northwich Library.