A great cloud has lifted from us all with the news that Wheelabrator Technologies have abandoned plans to build their massive incinerator here. Campaign leader David Wright thanked the community for the “phenomenal” response to the proposal.

In a two-page statement  Wheelabrator said they would “no longer proceed” with the project. 

David, Chair of the Keep Test Valley Beautiful said: “We are delighted and relieved.”

Wheelabrator said: “Having undertaken a strategic view of the wide range of opportunities in our current pipeline, we have decided to focus our efforts on further advanced waste-to-energy projects, and as such we will no longer continue to invest in the development of the Wheelabrator Harewood waste-to-energy facility”.

Questioned by a BBC reporter, they declined to give a specific reason for pulling out of the project.

David said: “KTVB has had tremendous support from local residents, environmental groups, local councillors and our MPs, particularly Caroline Nokes. The community response objecting to this project has been phenomenal and I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard to make the case against this proposal.”

He said that KTVB had consistently argued that this is the wrong site for the project and the group is delighted that that concerns have been listened to and that the campaign to stop the project has been successful.

Wheelabrator’s final words were: “We would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback as part of our recent community consultations.” 

You can help bin this monstrous scheme

Bin The Incinerator is a campaign by concerned Hampshire residents and farmers to stop US firm Wheelabrator building a massive incinerator in the heart of the beautiful and environmentally sensitive Test Valley.

The campaign, launched by the Keep Test Valley Beautiful Group, is working to raise funds to fight the proposal with specialist research by experts who are leaders in various fields.

Areas under examination include visual impact on the landscape, pollution and its potential impact on health; the effect on global warming; traffic congestion; the effects on our wildlife and the strain on our water supplies – which are already under stress.

We believe that building an incinerator with a potential life of up to 50 years clashes with a Government pledge for the UK to become net carbon neutral in just over 30 years.

It just doesn’t add up

Reasons to say no

Two Wheelabrator incinerators in Ferrybridge Yorkshire similar to the proposal for here. Just compare the size of the cars with the massive structures

1. It’s in the wrong place
Hampshire CC already handles its own household waste. This plant would burn half a million tons yearly of someone else’s rubbish from up to two hours’ drive away. A 5-mile (8km) trench will have to be dug past Andover to reach the National Grid. The plant will need to be ‘Combined Heat and Power’ (CHP) capable, but so far, no plans have been disclosed for using any of the spare heat generated.

2. It’s in the wrong place
The structure would be a massive eyesore, large enough to enclose Winchester cathedral twice over! Two chimneys up to 80 meters tall will tower over the building, with a plume of steam that on clear days would be visible from many miles away. The site is only 2 miles from the North Wessex Downs area of outstanding Natural Beauty

3. It’s in the wrong place
Approaching 400 vehicle movements over 24 hours, mostly heavy lorries, will add to the considerable Raymond Brown’s “Enviropark” traffic will make the already congested A303 and A.34 even busier. That is approximately one movement every four minutes.

4. It’s in the wrong place
Wheelabrator say it’s “clean”. But some -including the Soil Association – say that it is not green. CO2, NOX and dioxins would leave the chimneys at legal levels, but could in time build up on the surrounding land, water, villages and towns. Environmental groups claim that the gasses emitted would add more to global warming per unit of electricity created than either coal or oil powered generation.

5. It’s in the wrong place
Most incinerators are built on industrial sites. This is a greenfield site, a mile or less to houses and schools. Whitchurch is only 3 ½ miles away and a large organic farm 5 ½ miles away, both downwind. Department of Environment figures show particulate pollution figures in Whitchurch are already approaching World Health Authority recommended maximum.

6. It’s in the wrong place
Visitors spend millions of pounds a year in the Test Valley area. This monster could make them drive on by on the A.303 “highway to the sun”.

7. It doesn’t make climate sense
The Government has pledged to make the UK net carbon neutral by 2050. This plant would add to global warming for at least 25 years, possibly 50.

Background information and state of play in the UK and Europe

Municipal waste incinerators are seen by some as an attractive alternative to sending waste to landfills.  It’s claimed that burning waste saves landfill space, offers a way to treat toxic waste and also replaces the methane emitted from landfill sites with CO2, a much less potent greenhouse gas. Most notably, it is also promoted as a way to produce energy, extracted during the process of incineration. Municipal incinerators are however often wrongly promoted as creating green energy. Energy efficiency in incinerators is also poor (10-15%) and a report in 2008 suggests GHG emissions from incinerators are higher than that of gas power plants.

Incinerators are large-scale, requiring large tonnages of waste and are seen as an attractive option to local authorities as a single answer to waste problems. They are therefore widely recognised as acting as a disincentive to reducing, reusing, recycling and composting policies and result in the burning of waste that should be seen as a resource, and thereby threatening the recycling goals of the EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD). Furthermore, burning imported waste contradicts the WFD’s ‘principle of proximity’, which says that waste should be dealt with near its source.

In addition to these concerns are lingering worries over the health and environmental impacts of incinerators. Burning waste results in the production of toxic ash and the atmospheric release of heavy metals, acid gases, toxic particulates and pollutants; including highly carcinogenic dioxins. The use of modern monitoring, cleaning and treatment systems required by the EU Waste Incineration Directive was transposed into UK law in 2007. This has improved pollution levels, but concerns still remain. In particular, there are some worries that toxic ash may not be dealt with effectively and safely. There have been examples of UK incinerators where certain pollutants have been released above accepted levels; possible due to temperature fluctuations.There are also concerns from research outside the UK, that pollutants may be emitted at higher amounts during start-up and shut-down .

How can you help?

Your Money

We need funds to fight this proposal.

Your donation will help pay for campaign materials and help fund the best professional advice about areas such as the effect on wildlife, potential air pollution and the impact on the aquifer. Evidence, in the form of an environmental report, can cost more than £10,000.

Please donate £5, £10 or £1,000 – whatever you can afford.

Please click the “donate” button.

Your Time

Email your MPs and local councillors with your concerns and questions: You can find their email addresses here

We would love to hear from you if you can spare some time to help us with the campaign. Perhaps you have specialist industry knowledge, or would just like to help posting leaflets or manning our stand at local fetes.

Please do get in touch on our contact page, or click here

Your Support

Join the discussion on Facebook: Share information and stories to help other people to be aware of the scale, scope and implications of this major development in this rural area.

Who are we?

We are a group of concerned people who firmly believe that , not only is this the wrong place for an incinerator but that burning waste is an old technology that discourages policy makers and industry from the importance of developing new ways to recycle and reuse what is now considered to be waste. Our group includes people with a wide variety of skills and a broad spectrum of experience.

Contact Us

The Keep Test Valley Beautiful team is aware of the widespread anxiety about the proposed Incinerator between the villages of Barton Stacey and Longparish in the heart of beautiful Hampshire countryside.

Concern has also been expressed by people living in Whitchurch, Andover, Winchester, Overton, Wherwell Sutton Scotney and many other communities.

The future of burning waste is currently under question in the UK and other countries, as it pollutes the atmosphere and contributes to global warming.

Use the form to contact us with any comments or requests for more information.


The campaign to ‘BIN THE INCINERATOR’ is being pursued with energy and determination, but needs help with funding.

Donations will help pay for expert advice about the impact on air quality, flora and fauna, the local aquifer and rivers as well as passing on information through promotional material.

Please donate to help us defeat this monstrous scheme.


If you are able to provide practical help then please contact our volunteer team.  Please do let us know how you can assist and whether you have any relevant areas of expertise.

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