Fuel plant decision looms

A protest sign on Crow Orchard Road
A protest sign on Crow Orchard Road

RESIDENTS protesting about plans for a “toxic chemical plant” in a Wigan borough village have stepped up their campaign.

Vivid yellow warning signs can be seen throughout Appley Bridge and have been shared extensively on social media.

It’s important we display as many signs as possible


The measures have been taken ahead of a crucial Lancashire County Council planning committee meeting scheduled for January 20.

Councillors will decide whether to approve a bid by energy firm P-Fuel for a waste plastics to fuel conversion facility on Appley Bridge Lane North.

But campaigners say the plant could pose a serious health risk and would have a negative impact on traffic and pollution in the village.

Campaign group Appley Bridge Community Against Greenbelt Erosion (Abcage) is urging members to write letters of objection to the council ahead of the meeting and say more than 1,000 have already been sent.

A post on Abcage’s social media page states: “(Ahead of the committee date) there should be a site visit beforehand which may take place at any time between now and mid-January, so it’s important we display as many signs as possible in anticipation of this visit.”

The striking signs read “No Toxic Chemical Plant” alongside a skull and crossbones warning image. P-Fuel already has permission for a cooking oil to electricity conversion operation on the site, although it has yet to start production.

The new waste plastics plan has attracted a public backlash, including objections from local parish councils.

Writing to Lancashire County Council on behalf of the Shevington authority, Krystyna Pilkington said: “Local residents have grave concerns that the site could produce emissions that are carcinogenic.”

A letter from Carolyn Cross, submitted on behalf of Wrightington Parish Council, echoed similar concerns.

It stated: “(The Council) would like to submit extremely strong objections and express total opposition to the above proposals.”

The planning application has been submitted to Wigan Council, but the responsibility remains with the county council.