Mother launches campaign against Cobham incinerator plans
A MOTHER of two children with severe allergies has launched a campaign against plans for an incinerator in Cobham.
A planning application for a "gasification plant" on green belt land near Redhill Road has been submitted to Surrey County Council, but 1,000 people have already signed a petition opposing it.
As well as disposing of 30,000 tonnes of waste wood a year, the incinerator will function as a "biomass power station", generating 2.5 megawatts of electricity per hour.
Kirsten Johnson, who lives on the road and has 10 and 12-year-old sons with life-threatening allergies, is worried about the health effects.
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"The whole country is up in arms about incinerators because people instinctively know it's not right and there are so many other ways of dealing with our waste," she said.
"It's a huge learning curve for us. I've never done anything like this before because I've never felt the need to fight something so much. I think it's the mother's instinct that's driving me."
Concerned locals have set up a website to highlight issues relating to the plant, which is close to Felton Fleet School and St George's Nursing Home.
Their main concern is the emission of toxic "dioxins", "heavy metals" and "nano-particles".
The Health Protection Agency says biomass plants are safe, but in January the agency started a new study into their health impact.
Ms Johnson added: "How can they say it is ok to let this go ahead until that study has been finalised?"
Lulu Appleton, who also lives on Redhill Road, said: "This is not of benefit to the wider community. They are trying to get it in under the guise of green energy but it's not green energy.
"The only profit is for the people who own the site who sell the electricity to the National Grid, and they do that on the back of subsidies from the Government."
But the applicant, Paul Foster, said such plants are regulated by the Environment Agency and emissions would not contain any pollutants harmful to humans.
He added: "We therefore believe that the proposal demonstrates good reasons for this development at the Depot 46 site with minimal impacts, and we are happy to speak to any interested parties."
- Visit www.noelmbridgewasteincinerator.co.uk for further information.