COUNTY councillors have refused permission to replace an existing waste plant with an incinerator off the A31 near Alton.

The controversial proposal by Veolia was voted down by the council’s decision-making Regulatory Committee at their meeting today (Wednesday).

During the lengthy six-hour meeting, members heard from environmental groups, individuals and councillors opposed to plans for an incinerator 600ft high with chimneys about 150m long.

Although they heard there was a need to stop using landfill sites, the bulk of opinion was against the proposal.

When they voted at 4.10pm, three councillors – including committee chairman Peter Latham – voted for the proposal, while 11 voted against it.

It was voted down as it wasn’t “consistent with the Hampshire minerals waste plan.”

The no-vote was greeted by cheers and applause from campaigners who spoke on behalf of 5,500-plus residents, 20 town and parish councils, three planning authorities and two MPs, opposing the plan.

Pick up a copy of this week’s Herald, on sale tomorrow (Thursday), for a full report of the meeting and reaction.