WINCHESTER City Council has ‘strongly objected’ to a new power station near Micheldever.

A planning committee examined plans for the waste management plant at Micheldever Station before it goes before the county council for a decision next year.

Applicant, Clean Power, says the site off Overton Road would bring together autoclaves, pyrolysis and anaerobic digesters to convert waste into energy.

It would process 154,000 tonnes a year, two-thirds municipal and industrial and a third green/food waste. The site would operate 24-hours-a-day, seven-day-a-week, and would employ some 30 people.

Proposals also include an office, visitor centre, new access road, weighbridge, solar panels and landscaping.

But ward councillors and residents encouraged the planning committee to object to the plans.

Cllr Malcolm Wright said: “A government study into this technology identifies a risk of toxic fumes and it is only 250 metres away from houses.”

Cllr Stephen Godfrey added: “I would like to see more renewable energy schemes come forward and put in place. However it must not be at the price of the countryside or the character of the area. There is no justification for having this plant there and it goes against our policies.”

Adrian Bates, chairman of Micheldever Action Group set up to fight the scheme, said the plant would give no benefit to the local community.

He said: “This is a power station that runs on waste and food and to be profitable it has to import as much waste as it can but it will in no way diminish the amount of waste the community will be producing.”

Planners and councillors agreed and had serious concerns over a variety of issues including traffic problems and health hazards.

Cllr Eileen Berry said: “It’s clear to me in simple terms this proposal has no redeeming factors at all. There would also be dangerous gases and liquids at a site very close to a train line and if there is a major accident we would be left with a gas cloud.”

Cllr Barry Lipscomb added: “I think we should make this a strong objection so that if it goes to an appeal it cannot be said we did not have concerns about particular factors, such as the noxious emissions.”

The committee unanimously voted to object to the scheme and their views will be included in the county council’s final decision.

A decision was expected in the spring but is likely to be delayed after the county asked for further environmental studies of the area.