MEMBERS of Stroud District Council have signalled their strong opposition to plans for a £500 million incinerator at Javelin Park after approving a report outlining seven objections.

The 13-page document, produced by SDC’s planning officers and backed by councillors, says the waste burner would be ‘a dominating and alien structure in the rural landscape’ and may not even be needed.

It adds that the plant could spoil views of the Severn Vale and Cotswold AONB and that cleaner and more efficient waste disposal technologies are available.

The officer’s report, approved at a development control meeting yesterday, Tuesday, represents SDC’s formal response to Gloucestershire County Council, which has been consulting with local authorities on its plans for the facility.

In addition to the seven points drawn up by officers, it was also agreed that another two issues should be raised with GCC.

A motion tabled by David Drew and seconded by Stroud mayor and district councillor John Marjoram calls on the county council to assess the economic impact of the incinerator on the district.

Both members fear it could harm the economy.

Another motion, proposed and seconded by the pair, demands that GCC respond to two letters of concern sent to the authority by SDC during previous consultations on the county’s waste plan - the Waste Core Strategy.

GCC has not replied to two letters – the first of which was sent in 2009 by Cllr Barbara Tait, SDC cabinet member for development, and the second in 2010 by planning officer Barry Wyatt.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Drew (Lab, Farmhill and Paganhill) said: "I cannot believe that any local government authority would refuse to answer questions from two of the most important people in a neighbouring authority."

Last month the company hoping to build the incinerator, Urbaser Balfour Beatty, submitted a planning application.

GCC will consider Urbaser’s application later this year but SDC planning officers are warning that any decision on whether or not to give the mass burner the go-ahead would probably be premature.

In their report, officers question the waste figures underpinning the business case for the incinerator.

They also say that GCC should await the final report of a planning inspector currently scrutinising the Waste Core Strategy to see if the figures stack up.

A failure to wait for the report could pave the way for the incinerator project to be challenged by way of a judicial review, SDC’s officers note.