Food waste would be processed at a proposed recycling plant in Staffordshire despite objections from residents, it has been revealed.
Bosses of the controversial planned plant in Cocksparrow Lane, Huntington, Cannock, have applied for permission to build a biomass unit and anaerobic digestion facility at the site, which is already used for green waste composting.
Nearby residents fear it will be used to burn food waste, which they say would produce foul smells, potentially de-valuing their homes.
David Humphries, managing director of HE Humphries Ltd, the company that owns the site, has said those fears are unfounded, claiming only green waste, such as shredded wood, would be fed into the digester.
But in a planning document submitted to Staffordshire County Council in 2009, HE Humphries Ltd said: “The anaerobic digestion facility will process food waste collected by a contractor serving supermarkets, catering establishments, farms, industry and local council rounds.”
The document went on to say that up to 1,060,000 cubic feet is expected to be processed.
South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson, who presented a 300-name petition against the plans to Parliament on behalf of campaigners in June, called for clarification on the inconsistency.
He said: “I think it is extremely important that the details on what will be processed are clearly spelt out, and I don’t believe that any decision can be fairly made on the planning application until these conflicting statements are resolved.
“Whether or not food waste would be processed makes a huge difference to local residents, as it is food waste that causes much of the bad odour that originates from these facilities.
“If Humphries Holdings no longer has plans to process food waste, I would urge it to immediately alter the details of its application.”
County councillor David Williams echoed those concerns, saying: “There are clearly a number of local residents with concerns over this development and these matters need to be addressed before any decision can be made on the recent application to extend planning permission.”
Planning bosses originally approved proposals to build the plant in 2010. HE Humphries Ltd then renewed its application for more time while it held talks with third parties. No director of the company was available for comment by the time of publication.