CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for a waste incinerator say they have been threatened with court action by a council.

North Yorkshire County Council has identified seven possible sites for an incinerator, including at Dalton, near Thirsk.

Residents have set up the Dalton Incinerator Steering Committee (Disc) to fight the plans.

Disc attended many public and parish council meetings in order to spread its opposition message to the proposal for rural North Yorkshire.

The group uses medical information from textbooks about the health dangers of living near an incinerator.

Some of this includes research carried out in the Kirklees area, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which suggested an incinerator there, operated by waste disposal company Sita, caused high infant mortality levels.

Kirklees Council sent Disc a letter, the pressure group states, threatening to sue them.

David Andrews, chairman of Disc, said: “We got a letter from the council which said we were damaging the reputation of Kirklees.

“We wrote back and said that we didn’t defame them as we didn’t say this was fact. We said the person whose information we used said it was fact.

“We also pointed out that we can’t defame a council as a body only the officers or councillors within in. We’ve not heard back from them.”

Disc believes the county council’s proposed incinerator would see 450,000 tonnes of waste burnt annually.

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “The council and its partners Sita Kirklees and NHS Kirklees are seriously concerned about the misuse of infant mortality figures by Disc.

“The Kirklees figures were closely studied by the NHS and lifestyle is seen as the chief cause.

“The implied suggestion that the death rate is caused by airborne contaminants from the incinerator is wholly untrue and the council has written to Disc to ask them to desist.”

North Yorkshire County Council’s other possible incinerator sites are Allerton Park Quarry, Boroughbridge; Tancard Quarry, Catterick; Barnsdale Bar Quarry, Selby; Gateforth Park Farm, Selby; Burn Airfield, Selby; and Gascoinge Wood Mine Site, in Sherburn in Elmet.

The county council is awaiting two tenders to be submitted over the next few weeks from which it will choose its preferred bidder.

The successful bidder will then put together a planning application with the contract awarded if this proves successful.

Richard Flinton, the county’s corporate director of business and environmental services, said: “We expect to announce the preferred bidder for the waste contract later this year. That announcement will include details of their solution, including the location.

“A period will then commence where people will have the opportunity to ask questions and make their views known.”

Disc is to visit county hall to view the county council’s yearly accounts with a special regard to the incinerator plans.