A NEW public consultation over controversial plans for a multi-million pound waste-to-energy plant in Hampshire is set to be launched.

Civic chiefs have confirmed that there will be a second public consultation over proposals for an energy recovery facility on land off the A31, near Holybourne, Alton.

As reported, the site could see a 40m-high building with two 80m (260ft) chimneys.

The new facility would be able to process 330,000 tonnes of waste a year.

But the proposals – which were tabled by Veolia UK in June – have proved controversial.

Veolia UK said the facility will provide energy to power 75,000 homes and will reduce carbon emissions while creating hundreds of jobs.

But residents and some local authorities have raised concerns.

Hampshire County Council said it received a total of  3,278 representations from residents and stakeholders during the consultation held over the summer.

The authority has now confirmed that there will be a second public consultation and residents will again be able to comment on the planning application on the county council website.

Further details – including a date for the start of the consultation- are yet to be disclosed.

In a statement the county council said: “Hampshire County Council has commissioned independent advice on issues related to emissions from the proposed facility and air quality. Following consideration of consultation responses received by the county council,  additional information has been requested from the applicant. Once submitted, this information will be subject to further consultation before a decision is made by the county council’s Regulatory Committee. Once this next round of consultation is complete we should be in a position to set a date for the Regulatory Committee to consider the application.”

The news comes as a number of residents said to be worried about  the impact of the facility on the environment, pollution, traffic and the rural character of the area.

Resident Dennis Smith  said: “I am very concerned and worried about the height of the chimney, the visual appearance and the amount of pollution that will drift over my property. I am also very concerned about the large increase of lorries, on the already busy A31 and the diesel emissions these vehicles will produce. I feel that Veolia should find a much more suitable site.”

Noelle Mendelssohn added: “I am appalled by the thought that Veolia will be bringing waste from all over the south of England to be incinerated in Froyle. The amount of traffic congestion and pollution this will cause, even before it gets to the incinerator seems quite wrong to me.”

East Hampshire District Council and Alton Town Council have also objected to the plan, with the town council saying it is an “unacceptable overdevelopment of the site”.

But a Veolia UK spokesperson said: “This facility represents an important investment in the green recovery. It is designed to handle waste that is currently landfilled in the county or treated elsewhere and is part of an overall strategy in the area to recycle and recover more waste and protect the environment. The Council have issued a request for additional technical information to which we will respond shortly. We have prepared a detailed report with the application showing the plant is safe which has been independently reviewed by Public Health England. The Highways Department has confirmed the proposals are acceptable in terms of capacity and safety with the addition of 88 movements a day to the A31 which currently carries 21,000 vehicles daily.”

Veolia UK previously said the scheme would save 65,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year compared with sending the waste to landfill.

The plant will be part of a £200m investment set to create up to 350 jobs during the construction period and 40 permanent roles.