MORE than 100 complaints have been made following proposals for a new waste incinerator at a County Durham business park.

The proposed development, which includes a 100ft tall chimney stack, has been submitted by Castellum Consulting on behalf of Fornax Environmental Solutions.

If accepted, a small-scale specialist hazardous clinical and medical waste incineration plant will be built on land adjacent to Hitachi Rail’s factory at Aycliffe Business Park.

The Northern Echo:


The planning statement reads: “The building would house a High Temperature Incineration (HTI) plant which would safely treat clinical and hazardous wastes and would recover energy from them in the form of heat, providing both the heat needed to run the facility, and to export to neighbouring users should this be commercially and practically viable.

“There would be a yard surrounding the building for manoeuvring and parking. There would be an associated exhaust flue. The waste handling and thermal treatment process is entirely enclosed from start to finish in order to comply with relevant regulations; no direct handling, processing or storage of wastes would take place outside.”

It also states 27 jobs will be created from the development.

The Northern Echo:

However, the plans have caused uproar on social media with residents calling for the proposal to be rejected by Durham County Council.

More than 100 people have commented on the plans via the county council website.

One concerned comment reads: “The planned site is within 1km from my house in School Aycliffe. The local residents should be listed in the planning neighbour notification document. It worries me this has been missed. We only recently moved to the area. This did not appear in any searches. It concerns me this is all happening in haste. There could be a moral issue here. It concerns me that a project of this scale could push ahead in such close proximity to housing.

“The company can't offer any assurity for the future. Planning reports can also be quite conservative. Things change. This is no surety for local residents, their children, the local UTC school, local farmers and rare local wildlife and habitat.”

Another concerned resident said: “We are greatly concerned about the environmental impact this planning application would pose if it is approved. We were not notified by the applicant nor the boundary councils concerned (Durham and Darlington) - it was only shared with businesses in the surrounding area, not local residents.”

Other residents submitted were concerned about the small and traffic issues.

Great Aycliffe Town Council considered the application at the planning sub-committee on May 25.

It has requested that the application is placed on hold until a full public consultation can take place.

It also would like Durham County Council to consider holding a public meeting to give residents the opportunity to ask questions directly.

Great Aycliffe Town Council has asked that the application is considered at committee rather that a delegated decision at officer level.