CONTROVERSIAL plans to build an incinerator close to Winchester were aired in Parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs).

MP for Romsey and Southampton North Caroline Nokes called on the Government to support locals against the Wheelabrator plan for the facility at Barton Stacey, which campaigners claim will ‘destroy’ the area and has been described as so large it could house two city cathedrals inside it.

As previously reported there are fears that the ‘hideous’ industrial plant, which Wheelabrator hope to use to burn half a million tonnes of household waste yearly, will pollute the atmosphere and cause traffic chaos.

The business claims the facility will be able to process 450,000 tonnes of waste a year which will power around 110,000 homes.

Ms Nokes spoke out against the proposed development saying that residents are seeking reassurances about the Government’s stance on emissions from incineration.

She said: “American company Wheelabrator has a track record of breaching environmental legislation in the USA and now seeks to build a massive incinerator in the beautiful Test Valley. Local residents are looking to this Government because of their concerns about emissions levels and are seeking reassurance from my Right Honourable Friend that regulations on emissions from incineration will be further enhanced and greener alternatives encouraged.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson reminded members that a new Office of Environmental Protection is being set up and he will personally chair a cabinet committee devoted to the issue.

Mr Johnson said: “I’ve seen her point with great concern Mr Speaker because as we move to a net zero economy which we will do by 2050 under the ground-breaking Conservative Government it is vital that we tackle that kind of emissions and that’s why we will be establishing an Office for Environmental Protection and I will chair a new cabinet committee to drive forward action on climate change across the whole of Government.”

Residents have formed the ‘Keep Test Valley Beautiful’ (KTVB) action group against the facility that could be seen from up to 18 miles away when built.

KTVB spokesman Andy Jolliffe said: "As the Harewood incinerator would pump out huge quantities of global warming gasses it is encouraging to know that Mr Johnson shares concerns about the need to take decisive measures to tackle climate change.

“I hope the committee will seriously consider the future of waste incinerators as they are major contributors to global warming and detract from recycling and reducing the amount of waste we generate.”

He added: "Both global warming and pollution threatening health and the environment are major areas of concern and it is good to know that the Prime Minister and Caroline Nokes have drawn attention to them in the widely reported forum of PMQs.”