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Waterbeach residents want 'both sides of story' for incinerator plan

Group of residents who are not happy with the Waterbeach incinerator plans seen here a the Baptist Church . Picture: Keith Heppell
Group of residents who are not happy with the Waterbeach incinerator plans seen here a the Baptist Church . Picture: Keith Heppell

Several meetings are being held for residents who have concerns about planned incinerator and recycling facility.

Campaigners are telling of their frustrations trying to get information about plans for a £200million waste facility on the edge of Waterbeach.

A group of residents banded together to oppose proposals by Amey, which runs the Waterbeach Waste Management Park, to add an energy-from-waste facility that seeks to divert the 200,000 tonnes of waste that goes to landfill at the site every year, creating energy from it instead.

An incinerator is part of the proposals, which comes with an 80m chimney stack.

Concerns have been raised by residents about what will be burnt and emmitted by the incinerator. Campaign group CBWIN (Cambridge Without Incineration) is holding a meeting to get their questions answered. They say they want to hear “both sides of the debate”.

A spokesperson for CBWIN, who did not want to be named, said: “Amey was very convincing at the last public meeting, but you have to be in the know to know what to ask otherwise you get mesmerised.

“We aren’t a bunch of activists, just local constituents who want more time to decide on this plan, proper consultation and clear facts that aren’t just being provided by the waste company.

:: Petition raises health concerns against waste incinerator plan

“We already know from the last public meeting in January that Amey will only present the information that favours them, and that their facts are misleading, particularly about filtering, emissions, monitoring and their safety track record.

“I’m so upset by how democracy is done in our town. It’s frightening.”

Amey’s Waterbeach account director, Chris Smiles, said: “Amey is committed to engaging with the local community and, as part of the planning process, has to present facts in an accurate and clear way.

“We have already held a number of drop in events and the next ones – on March 19 and 20 – will give residents a further chance to ask our experts any questions they may have. We also have information available via our web pages and newsletters, as well as a detailed planning application which sets out how we will manage emissions.

“Our air quality experts will be at the events to reassure residents about the equipment used, the effectiveness of modern waste treatment facilities and how they are monitored by the Environment Agency to ensure they do not cause significant pollution to the environment or harm people’s health.”

Amey said it will also send experts to CBWIN’s meeting to answer questions people may have.

Amey is holding events on Monday, March 19, between 12pm-4pm at Landbeach Village Hall, and 5.30pm-9pm at Cottenham Community Centre, and on Tuesday, March 20, between 12pm-9pm at St John’s Church, Waterbeach.

CBWIN is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, March 20, at Waterbeach Baptist Church from 7.30pm-9.30pm.

More information can be found at wasteservices.amey.co.uk/where-we-work/cambridgeshire/our-energy-from-waste-proposal/about-our-proposal.

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