MP Damian Hinds airs fresh A31 incinerator air-quality fears

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An artist's impression of Veolia's proposed A31 incinerator

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EAST Hampshire MP Damian Hinds has raised further concerns regarding Veolia’s plans to convert its current recycling site on the A31 near Alton into an incinerator.

He said: “I have grave concerns about the public health implications of the proposal because of the potential adverse effects on air quality, particularly given the legally-binding duty on the government to bring forward at least two new air-quality targets in secondary legislation by October 31, 2022.”

Set out in The Environment Act 2021, passed by parliament earlier this month, the government sought advice from the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) in setting the air-quality targets.

Mr Hinds added: “Given these findings and the advice from COMEAP, there must be a likelihood the WHO air quality guideline for PM2.5, halved this year, will be reduced again, perhaps successively, during the expected lifetime of the Energy for Waste (EfW) facility that Veolia now wishes to add to the three EfW facilities already operating in Hampshire.

“I very strongly urge Hampshire County Council to reject this proposed project.”

It comes as hundreds more objections to Veolia’s plan for an enormous incinerator in the rural Wey Valley have reconfirmed this proposal’s status as one of the UK’s most opposed planning applications.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) has now received more than 5,500 individual objections citing reasons why the plan for the county’s fourth incinerator should not be approved.

The proposed development has attracted objections from thousands of residents and businesses, backed by two MPs, three local planning authorities, two town councils and 19 parish councils.

CPRE Hampshire, the South Downs National Park Authority and Historic England have also submitted objections.

HCC’s landscape department wrote a lengthy objection in February why the application should be turned down and does not conform to published council policy.

The document, though, did not appear on HCC’s website for nine months, until No Wey Incinerator campaigners unearthed the objection through a Freedom of Information request.

Ben Stanberry, spokesman for the No Wey Incinerator campaign, said: “This is not just about the numbers involved.

“Objectors have made their views very clear that this is the wrong location for such a development and is not needed in a county which already has three incinerators.

“The application contravenes a large number of the policies contained in HCC’s own minerals and waste plan.”

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