MORE than 3,000 residents of Northwich and surrounding areas have officially voiced their opinions on Brunner Mond’s proposal for an energy from waste plant.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed it received objection letters from residents, who were allowed to comment on the application until the deadline at the end of October.

Brunner Mond’s application for a sustainable energy plant in Lostock Gralam would use a mixture of pre-treated waste and plant-derived material to produce steam to power the company’s soda ash plant.

It would be developed and operated by E.ON.

The spokesperson for DECC added a decision on the application would not be made until early next year.

Brian Cartwright, chairman of Cheshire Anti Incinerator Network (CHAIN), has fought against the plans and said that the group had collected an additional 25,000 signatures on its petitions.

“This news makes it absolutely clear that the vast majority of our community is resolutely opposed to what is a self-interested and irresponsible plan by these large multinational corporations that would end up causing damage to our environment and the health of the people of Cheshire for many generations,” said Brian.

“The public is adamant that a waste incinerator is not needed and not wanted in Northwich.

“We trust that the message will be understood and endorsed by Cheshire West and Chester Council which soon has to decide its attitude to the waste incinerator proposal.

“We also hope in the new era of ‘localism’ which the Coalition Government talks so much about that it will practise what it preaches and support the unmistakable views of local people on this issue when the final decision comes to be made.

“Finally, we hope that this news will reach the headquarters of TATA in Mumbai and of E-ON in Dusseldorf and that it will prompt them to seriously reconsider the merits of pushing through a project which is opposed by so many people in Cheshire.”

The DECC spokesperson added: “We are currently considering E.ON’s environmental statement on the Brunner Mond project, as well as the objections we have received about the proposed project. A decision will be taken by the Energy Minister on whether to consent to the project in due course”

Fraser Ramsay, business development executive at Brunner Mond, said: “We are still waiting for confirmation from DECC as to the number of third party representations made during the consultation in October.

“We are pleased that the residents of Northwich have had the opportunity to share their views about our proposals and an important part of our recent submission of additional information to DECC was a response to the issues raised during the initial round of consultation earlier this year.”

He added that Brunner Mond was confident not all of the letters received by DECC were complaints about the scheme and some would have been in support.