Plans for a waste incinerator on Aycliffe Business Park – which will include a 100ft tall chimney stack – have been met with anger from members of the public.
Local residents are complaining about the lack of consultation for the plans, submitted by Castellum Consulting on behalf of Fornax Environmental Solutions.
The two-hectare site, adjacent to Hitachi Rail’s factory along Heighington Lane, would treat hazardous wastes and recover energy.
In the proposal, Mark Roberts, from Castellum Consulting, says: “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.”
The proposal says the site, which will create 27 jobs, would not include the storage of hazardous substances.
The plans were submitted to Durham County Council in April and validated on May 4.
But the public only have until May 24 to submit their comments on the plans, with five nearby residents already voicing their concerns.
Keith Noddings, from School Aycliffe, said: “It is clear there was no intention of informing the residents of School Aycliffe, Heighington and Redworth of these proposals.
“I would like a clear consultation with the local community so they can all express their comments.
“A letter should be sent to all local residents in order for them to have the opportunity to express their views.
“There are obviously concerns for these communities on air pollution, eyesores, traffic and the local wildlife.”
Another concerned resident posted on social media: “In summary the site will be accessed off the part-built roundabout at the railway crossing off Heighington Lane. It will apparently incinerate clinical and hazardous waste and exhaust via a 30 meter (100 ft) chimney stack.
“Whatever your view on this type of development, what cannot be stomached is the complete lack of direct notification to nearby residents from either applicant or DCC.
“The consultee boundary in the application is shamefully small for a development such as this and as a consequence there is no local views on the application currently.
“I urge anyone who has a view on this to comment on the Durham County Council portal and be heard.
“That we’ve been omitted from the consultation till now is disgusting and we should work to make our views known.”
Local councillor Nev Jones, whose ward boundary sits right next to the proposed site, said: “Having only recently been elected I was only made aware of this very recently.
“The apparent lack of communication to nearby residents is concerning, and I’d urge anyone with any concerns to register their comments on the council’s planning portal.”
To register your comments on the proposal, click here and in the search bar type in DM/21/01500/WAS.