MORE than 1,000 people have written to the Planning Inspectorate to object to plans to build a £40million indoor recycling centre in Brierley Hill.

The figure is three times the number of residents who originally complained to Dudley Council last year about the plan by Clean Power Properties to transform an old railway site, off Moor Street, into a state-of-the-art energy recovery centre.

Council planners rejected the scheme last summer but power firm bosses lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate at Bristol - despite concern from residents who raised fears the centre would create pollution and unpleasant odours, decrease house prices and put more lorries on busy borough streets.

Having formed an action group, called Brierley Hill SNOW* (Say No tO Waste-site), campaigners have spent the last few weeks gathering further support from those living near the site and shoppers in nearby Brierley Hill town ahead of the Planning Inspectorate's March 18 deadline for written objections.

SNOW* spokesman Timothy Lee said objections have also been submitted by Dudley South MP Chris Kelly, Natasha Millward, Labour prospective Parliamentary candidate for Dudley South, ward councillors Rachel Harris, Zafar Islam and Margaret Wilson, Brierley Hill Civic Society plus Brierley Hill schools and businesses.

He added: "There has been overwhelming support for the campaign.

"Brierley Hill has spoken, and the clear message is that if these plans go ahead, local residents and businesses will suffer, and the area will go downhill."

Clean Power bosses, however, refute claims the centre would release unpleasant odours and they say traffic movements would be restricted to 70 lorries a day.

The high-tech centre, which would use anaerobic digestion processes to convert food waste into energy, would also create up to 30 new jobs and produce renewable energy for up to around 10,000 homes, the company claims.

A final decision on the plan will be made after a Planning Inquiry, due to take place on Tuesday June 17 at Dudley Council House.

Following a request to the Planning Inspectorate, SNOW* has now been granted full party status to present its case at the hearing - which will get underway at 10am.

Mr Lee said: "This is a major step forward and means we will be able to represent ourselves at the inquiry on the top table together with Clean Power and Dudley Council."