Fuel plant protesters out in force

Protesters line the streets in Appley Bridge
Protesters line the streets in Appley Bridge
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  • County councillors on site visit at site of potential bio-fuel plant
  • Protesters line the streets in Appley Bridge
  • Campaign group says plant is health hazard

COUNTY planning committee members received a noisy welcome as they visited the potential Wigan site of a controversial fuel plant on Thursday.

More than 120 residents lined the main road leading to the Appley Bridge Lane North location to voice their opposition to the plans.

Energy company P-Fuel has submitted an application to Lancashire Town Hall for a waste plastics to fuel conversion plant and a decision will be made whether to grant approval next week.

But campaigners, organised by group Appley Bridge Community Against Greenbelt Erosion (Abcage) believe it will pose a health risk.

Planning committee members were greeted with chants of “unproven, unsafe, not fit for a valley” and “this is not a test site, this is our home” as their mini-bus arrived.

And dozens of “No Toxic Chemical Plant” signs also lined the route in.

The amount of people to have turned out is fantastic

Abcage member Katie Juckes

Organiser Katie Juckes said: “The inspectors will know now, if they didn’t before, the strength of feeling about these plans.

“The amount of people to have turned out on a weekday morning in a village like ours is fantastic. This is not nimbyism, this is a residential area, not a location for an experimental chemical plant.”

P-Fuel has previously obtained permission for a cooking oil to electricity operation which is yet to start, but submitted a further application for the waste plastics conversion last year.

The planning application states the site would be a “low temperature pyrolysis plant to convert low worth waste plastic in to diesel and gasoline.”

According to P-Fuel’s website, the process includes no “hydrocarbon emissions” and no “naked flames.”

The crucial meetings at Lancashire Town Hall will take place on January 18 and 20.