Plans for a new waste incinerator plant near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire have infuriated horse owners who say smoke from the plant will be dangerous for them and their animals.
Maggi Campbell Keith is one of the organisers of the Stop Aylesbury Vale Incineration (SAVI) campaign against the development planned for the village of Edgcott.
She said the pollution has been linked to cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) asthma, heart attacks, strokes and clinical depression.
“Dr Dick van Steenis, a waste management expert, came to speak to the campaign group and explained how the minerals emitted from incinerators such as this are deadly,” she told H&H.
“The local authority is selling this as clean waste management but the dioxins in the particles in the air will affect water sources, grazing land and animals. The proposals would run over a rural 300 hectare site currently crossed by bridleways leading into miles of wonderful hacking country.
“The decision to use this type of incinerator was taken by central government 10 years ago. Now this technology is out of date.”
The village of Edgcott already has one of Europe’s largest landfill sites run by the Spanish company Waste Recycling Group (WRG) which is one of two contractors, along with US company Covanta Energy, bidding to run the incinerator.
Horse owner and SAVI member, Helen Howard, said: “This site is bang in the middle of the ancient Bernwood hunting forest which has provided a haven for wildlife for hundreds of years. Many local landowners have been planting trees to help restore the forest, which this incinerator will threaten.”
Local resident, show jumper and BSJA accredited coach, Mandy McGlynn, said: “We want to preserve the rural heritage and the purity of our air and environment for ourselves and our horses.”
Planning permission for the incinerator and the award of the contract will by made by Buckinghamshire County Council on July 13.
A spokesman for Buckinghamshire County Council said: “Incinerators don’t kill people. It’s important that Buckinghamshire residents get the facts about energy from waste, so that they have a balanced and well-informed view.
“Unfortunately opposition groups often misunderstand and misquote information from individuals purporting to be experts. Comparing [this incinerator] to older type incinerators is like comparing a Rolls Royce to a Model-T Ford.”