Decision makers have been warned they would bear the consequences of their actions at an inquiry into a proposed waste incinerator.

Sharon Marshall addressed a public inquiry at Aycliffe Business Park as she expressed worries about the proposed "high-temperature thermal treatment facility for clinical and hazardous wastes" at Merchant Park, Newton Aycliffe.

Developer Fornax Environmental Solutions is appealing against Durham County Council's refusal of planning permission for the scheme last December.

The council and company agree there are "no unacceptable environmental or amenity impacts associated with the proposed development", but numerous residents have expressed concerns about air quality and pollution.

Read more: Aycliffe incinerator inquiry - 'it's in the wrong place'

Ms Marshall said: "You're all profit-motivated as has been mentioned, but people have to live with your decision.

"Everybody likes to make a profit, but you need to bear in mind that you carry the consequences of your decision and the impact it has on this environment.

"What you're proposing is a huge development.

"People around here understand that this facility has to go somewhere, but I don't think it should go anywhere near any densely populated area, which is what we've got here.

"We're a very windy location. Anything that's put up into the atmosphere travels in the direction of the residential communities. We are on the top of an escarpment at Heighington.

"I'm talking of behalf of the nannas and grandmas as well as parents who live in this area. I'm really concerned about the impact it might have on our children's health."

She also expressed concern about workers on the estate, noise, roads, traffic, watercourses and vermin.

Read more: Objectors tell Aycliffe incinerator inquiry - 'it needs to be stopped'

Another resident, Adam Guy, told the inquiry his father had been a smoker and had died that morning.

He said: "I refuse to to let my children be exposed to toxins.

"There are so many unknowns about toxins in the air. Is it fair that any of us, particularly the young, should be exposed to that?

"Over the long term it causes deaths and other effects.

"Incineration has to happen somewhere but why so close to so many people's houses? It's not NIMBYism. It shouldn't be in anybody's back yard."

Read more: Incinerator inquiry - 'no evidence' of firms not investing

Resident Catherine Lenahan, a former teacher and university assistant professor, said: "I've spoken to local people who have businesses on the industrial estate. It will drive away existing and potential businesses in the area, impact on the planned levelling up agenda of the current government in our area and contribute to increasing levels of poverty for our children in Newton Aycliffe."

The Northern Echo: Cllr Jim Atkinson. Picture: Durham County Council.Cllr Jim Atkinson. Picture: Durham County Council.

Councillor Jim Atkinson, representing Aycliffe East ward, said the objections outweighed the benefits.

He said: "The residents of Newton Aycliffe along with many of the surrounding areas were asked by Durham County Council planning for their comments regarding this waste incinerator.

"They gave their comments in droves. Surely there was a reason for asking them.

"Yes, the application looks for policy reasons for rejections, but the application caters for public questions, and seeks to act upon them.

"The residents not only posted their concerns, they also turned up at the local planning meeting where their input, from my experience as a county planning committee member for five years, was unparalleled in its dedicated investigation."

The inquiry continues.


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