Campaigners are stepping up their battle to stop a controversial waste-to-energy plant opening up in Irvine.
Planning permission was given for an incinerator at OIdhall in 2020 and development work is now well underway.
Irvine Without Incinerators has delivered letters to North Ayrshire Council officials.
The three party leaders, chair and vice-chair of planning, and chief executive, were sent a letter summarising the group’s concerns.
Group spokesman Arthur West said: “We are very much stepping up our campaign.
“Over the next few weeks there will be regular street stalls where we will engage with the public and try to gather signatures uf opposition to the project.
“It is awareness raising and, from a public health point of view, it is not acceptable to be having this kind of project in North Ayrshire.
“We have asked some questions and I don’t feel there has been adequate consultation about this. It’s concerning that since the project was given the go ahead there has now been a moratorium against these plants by the Scottish Government.
“We want this plant to be stopped by SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) not giving it a licence. Friends of the Earth Scotland say the emissions can cause breathing problems and there is a report which says there is a very high rate of respiratory problems in North Ayrshire.”
A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson responded: “The development of the energy recovery facility was approved by the council’s planning committee in 2020 and was subject to detailed consultation with SEPA, who have the responsibility for regulating all pollution control measures, including air quality, at facilities of this kind.
“Great care has been taken throughout the process to examine any environmental impact.”
A SEPA spokesperson said: “Where new waste facilities come forward, SEPA ensures they are designed and operated to ensure they only accept non-recyclable waste, achieve a high level of energy efficiency and meet strict emission limits to protect the environment and human health.
“We have received an application for a Pollution Prevention and Control (known as PPC) permit from Oldhall Energy Recovery Limited, which is currently being determined.
“The operator must demonstrate that all the appropriate preventative measures are taken against pollution, in particular through the application of the best available techniques, and that no significant pollution is caused as a result of the proposals submitted.
“Once we have carefully reviewed the application, our draft decision, including any draft permit or draft refusal notice, will be published on our consultation hub to allow for a further period of public consultation.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson added: “Reducing waste and increasing recycling are key to tackling the climate crisis and ensuring we all enjoy a healthy environment. That is why we commissioned an independent review into the role of incineration in Scotland and have accepted its recommendations in full.
“This includes putting in place measures to limit and gradually reduce Scotland’s incineration capacity, helping to ensure we can manage our waste today, while ensuring our future waste infrastructure aligns with our climate targets.”
Plant owners Doveryard Ltd were approached for comment.
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