A PIONEERING energy plant could turn a village into the ‘waste capital of Hampshire’, campaigners say.
More than 150 concerned residents packed into Micheldever Station’s Warren Hall for a presentation on plans for a power station fuelled entirely from waste.
Chief among concerns were a loss of green space, noise and dust, the smell from emissions and a potentially devastating impact on property prices.
Plans from Clean Power Properties and Network Rail Infrastructure were slammed by members of the Micheldever Action Group as ‘full of uncertainty and misleading statements’.
Campaigner Adrian Bates said: “It’s not Nimbyism. At first, perhaps it may have appeared that way. But the more we looked into it, we realised that this power station should not be anywhere at all.”
The proposal would see the site at Micheldever Station bring together in one place autoclaves, pyrolysis and anaerobic digesters to convert waste into energy.
It is thought to be the first of 16 such sites that could appear throughout the country – prompting fears the village is being used as a ‘guinea pig’.
Addressing the meeting on Saturday (October 20), Winchester Action for Climate Change (WinACC) director Chris Holloway said: “Our starting point is that generally we’re in favour of renewable energy schemes, but we’ve been dismayed by the lack of information from Clean Power Properties. We just cannot tell what the impact on climate change will be. We’re not in a position to say this will be a good scheme because we have not got the information.”
Resident Barry Rimmington, of Brunel Close, said: “This is just all about money. They’re a slippery bunch. They’ve gone to great lengths to avoid us here today.”
The Hampshire Chronicle reported in September that up to 210,000 tonnes of domestic and commercial waste per year could be transported to the site.
Nick Hurrell, of Overton Road, presented the action group’s findings to residents and estimates that the centre would bring 15000 lorries a year to the area, or one lorry every 6 minutes.
He said: “They’re saying there are no houses nearby but we live maybe 50 metres away.”
County chiefs say additional facilities are needed to deal with 600,000 tonnes of waste by 2030, but residents say they intend to fight plans for the station because they run counter to the council’s 20-year minerals and waste plan.
Environment boss Mel Kendal previously stressed that developers would need planning permission before sites could be developed.