Campaign groups say chimneys will be visible 'from Four Marks to Farnham'

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An artist’s impression of the ‘plume visibility’ of Veolia’s proposed waste incinerator off the A31 at Alton ()

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THE NO WEY Incinerator action group is stepping up its campaign of opposition to Veolia’s controversial plan to build a commercial waste incinerator in the Wey Valley near Alton.

The multi-national waste management firm has generated significant anger among the thousands of residents, businesses and farmers who fear their lives and livelihoods will be affected if Hampshire County Council approves the proposed Energy Recovery Facility.

A record 3,300 people objected to the proposals during the first consultation.

And with Hampshire County Council currently hosting a second, more detailed consultation on Veolia’s plans, No Wey campaigners have expressed particular concern the proposal contradicts council policies intended to protect the area’s tranquil rural character.

Ben Stanberry, spokesman for the action group, said: “Hampshire’s Minerals and Waste Plan clearly states ‘a development should not cause an unacceptable adverse visual impact and should maintain and enhance the distinctive character of the landscape’.

“But this enormous development, with its 80-metre high chimneys belching flue gases which will be visible from Four Marks to Farnham, could never be described as enhancing the character of our idyllic landscape.

“It goes directly against the commitment the council made in its plan to ensure these sorts of facilities are ‘the right development, in the right place’.”

“In a statement in its planning application that has provoked widespread disbelief, Veolia has claimed the proposed incinerator ‘would not be sufficient to alter the overall character of the area’.

“But the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), the South Downs National Park Authority, and East Hampshire District Council have all strongly disagreed (see the panel on the right).

“All three of these influential bodies believe the size and scale of the proposed incinerator will harm the landscape and destroy the beauty of this tranquil rural area.

“None of the additional information Veolia has recently provided in its ‘Regulation 25’ responses have addressed the fact the layout, form and appearance of the proposed incinerator are not appropriate to the scale and landscape of the Wey Valley.”

Veolia’s recent ‘Regulation 25’ responses are on the county council website at https://planning.hants.gov.uk

The planning application reference number is 33619/007 and the deadline for further public comments is Friday, January 29, 2021.

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