A £20 million waste plant will be built in Staffordshire - to the dismay of hundreds of protestors who had fought against it.
The controversial plans to build the plant in Huntington caused uproar among residents who compiled two petitions containing around 850 signatures demanding it not go ahead.
But members of Staffordshire County Council’s planning committee yesterday gave the green light for the development in Cocksparrow Lane.
They said that no objections had been received from Staffordshire’s highways department or Environmental Health and that if they turned down the application it would likely be approved on appeal.
South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson, who had also opposed the plans, said granting the development was ‘an appalling decision’.
The application facing the council yesterday was to renew planning permission for the 200ft-high plant on the former Littleton Colliery site. Original permission was given in 2009 but had expired.
The plant would break down green waste, and possibly food, into fertiliser and methane, as well as produce electricity for the National Grid.
Councillor Ian Lawson told the meeting that, while he does not like the plans, there is a need for such a facility in Staffordshire.
“We can’t have a landfill site,” he said. “This is something we need across the county whether we like it or not.
“I don’t like it, but this is to protect your kids because they would have to deal with that waste in the future.”
The application was passed subject to more than 40 conditions - one of which stating that a liaison committee must be set up between local residents, councillors and owner of the site the Humphries Holdings Group.
But residents living near the planned site say they feel they have been ‘let down’.
Mark Hough, who has lived in Huntington’s Stafford Road for more than 10 years, said: “They’ve really let us down.
“A site like this next to a brand new school is ludicrous.”
Dr Emily Cox, who also lives in the village, says that while she is pleased a condition had been imposed insisting a liaison group is set up, she fears villagers could soon face issues of bad odours.
Mr Williamson today vowed to continue the fight against the digester plant.
He said: “I think this is an appalling decision. I have to say I will do everything I can to frustrate the plans. This is a totally inappropriate site for a digestion facility.
“I will keep fighting to make sure residents’ concerns are heard.”