MEMBERS of the Westbury Gasification Action Group/No Westbury Incinerator Group have rejected claims that they have tried to mislead people over the controversial £200 million waste-to-energy incinerator planned for the town.

Joint venture company Northacre Renewable Energy, owned by the Hills Group and the Bioenergy Infrastructure Group, was last year given permission by Wiltshire Council for an advanced thermal treatment plant on the Northacre Industrial Estate in Westbury.

Now they want to abandon the hi-tech technology to use the standard moving grate combustion method, and have submitted another planning application to the council.

The company is also applying to the Environment Agency for an operating permit. Public consultation on the permit application ends on January 22.

In November, NREL issued a statement saying: "It is easy for misleading statements to be made by those who oppose facilities such as that proposed by Northacre Renewable Energy, regarding the performance of modern combustion technology.

"There have been claims that it is outdated, with language and references to '1960s' technology.

"The moving grate combustion system that we intend to use at Northacre is based on process technology that has been utilised for decades."

Marie Hillcoat, of WGAG/No Westbury Incinerator Group, rejected the accusation, pointing out that 2,000 residents, 15 town and parish councils, and Westbury’s local MP Dr Andrew Murrison, had all objected to the scheme.

She said: “Local people, who have spent years opposing NREL’s multiple planning applications for different types of incineration plant, are capable of understanding and assessing the technology.

“The performance of modern combustion technology is inefficient compared with modern gas-fired and nuclear power stations, particularly as NREL offer no prospect of using the heat from the combustion process or of capturing carbon emissions.

“Up to 40 per cent of the waste fed into the incinerator will come out as ash, some of which is classed as hazardous and has to be transported to specialised landfill.”

The protest group says the new plant could increase air pollution and harm public health and lead to an increase in heavy traffic along the A350 and A36 main roads to Westbury.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency is inviting people to have their say on a permit to operate a controversial new waste-to-energy incinerator in Westbury.

The firm has now applied to the Environment Agency for an environmental permit so it can burn non-hazardous waste.

An Environment Agency Wessex spokesman said: “The Environment Agency has a duty to control certain activities which could harm the environment or human health.

“An environmental permit sets the conditions which Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd must meet when operating the proposed incinerator.”

NREL said: “The EA will only grant a permit for the facility if they consider that it will not have an adverse impact on the environment, or human health.”

The permit application and supporting documents can be found at:

Responses can be made via the website by email to: quoting application number EPR/CP3803LV/A001 in any correspondence.

Paper copies can be obtained by contacting the Environment Agency’s Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506. A charge may be made to cover copying costs.

For more information on the NREL scheme, go to

Comments must be received by 5pm on January 22 and only issues covered by the environmental permit can be considered. All comments will be reviewed before a final decision is made on whether or not to grant a permit.