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More than five thousand people have given the incinerator the thumbs down, urging the developers to “go away.”

Objections by email and letter flooded in to the US firm Wheelabrator and copied to Keep Test Valley Beautiful as the six week “statutory consultation period” drew to a close.

Many more objections continued to be submitted in the following days but we don’t know whether they will be accepted by the firm.
It is likely that more comments were sent directly to the firm which so far we are unaware of.

Campaign spokesman Andy Jolliffe said: “Wheelabrator can be in no doubt about the strength of feeling.”

Objections came from a wide-ranging area from Basingstoke to Amport, Reading Newbury, Hungerford and to the South, Winchester Southampton The Isle of Wight and elsewhere.

Anglers and environmentalists scattered throughout the UK and abroad added their objections.

Many were submitted from Andover, Whitchurch, Barton Stacey and Longparish as well as Wherwell, Chilbolton and Hurstbourne Priors and a clutch from St. Mary Bourne and Hurstbourne Tarrant.

Among the worries expressed were potential damage to health from the incinerator’s emissions, the impact of approximately 400 lorry movements a day and the threatened damage to wildlife and the Rivers Test and Dever.

We stepped in to let people know the consultation period was underway after deciding that Wheelabrator’s effort to publicise this obligatory stage of the planning process was pathetic.

We leafleted local communities and advertised the consultation on social media and with newspaper advertisements. The exercise revealed major levels of concern. Said Mr Jolliffe: “In spite of our efforts we still found a considerable number of people who were totally unaware they were being consulted right up to the end of the process. Some hadn’t even heard of what could land on their doorsteps.

“A big thank you to everyone who commented, but the fight is far from over.”

The next stage is likely to involve Wheelabrator summarising the objections as part of their planning application to the Government Inspectorate. This could happen in the spring.

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