Campaigners opposing plans to build an incinerator in South Staffordshire have vowed to fight on despite the Government refusing to grant a public inquiry into the scheme.
West Midlands Friends of the Earth are fighting plans for a plant to be built at Four Ashes, near Cannock, claiming it will make the area the “dumping ground of the region”.
They believe the controversial scheme would have benefitted from analysis by an independent planning inspector, which would have given residents and opposers an opportunity to air their views.
But the Secretary of State has refused to grant a public inquiry into the scheme which could have started this process.
Chris Crean, from West Midlands Friends of the Earth said: “We were really disappointed about the Government’s decision because we have not had the time to air our views.
“We wanted an independent planning inspector to look at this in detail but the Government did not call the plan in for an inquiry.
“They decided they would not intervene which is a real shame.
“We do not dispute that resources are needed to deal with what is going into our waste stream, but the outdated process of burning it is not good enough.
“We need to come up with more sustainable forms of dealing with what is in our waste stream.
“If you live in Cannock you already have to deal with the Poplars Landfill site and now this site at Four Ashes. I could see why people living in that area would think they were the dumping ground of the region.”
Staffordshire County Council granted planning permission for the incinerator last November.
The proposal for the 300,000 tonne Energy From Waste burner was referred to the Government Office of the West Midlands for the Secretary of State to consider calling a public inquiry.
The Secretary of State decided not to and now Staffordshire County Council can forge ahead with plans for the £122.4 million scheme which has secured government funding.
A spokesman for the Government Office of the West Midlands said the department was “not obliged to give reasons for the decision that was made.”
Staffordshire County Council Leader John Taylor said: “We have recognised the challenge and planned ahead, explaining and consulting effectively and then forging ahead in delivering the right solution to protect the people of Staffordshire from the snowballing costs of landfill.
“This is prudent financial and environmental management in action.”