CAMPAIGNERS have celebrated the news that power bosses have dropped their appeal over the building of a massive indoor recycling centre in Brierley Hill
Clean Power Ltd had appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after Dudley Council rejected the firm's ambitious plan to build a state-of-the-art energy conversion centre on old railway sidings off Moor Street.
But the company has now withdrawn its appeal and a public inquiry, scheduled for June 17 at Dudley Council House, has been cancelled.
Brierley Hill councillor Rachel Harris, chairman of the Say No tO Waste-site (SNOW*) campaign, said: "This is great news for the area for everyone who has worked hard on the campaign against this appeal.
"We would like to say thank you from the SNOW* Campaign Committee to the residents who were willing to let us show how strong their opposition to this facility was.
"We hope Clean Power Ltd have got the message and that Network Rail will now try to find a more more appropriate use for the land that suits its urban setting."
More than 1,000 people including borough councillors and Dudley South MP Chris Kelly raised objections to the development which they feared would cause odour pollution and traffic problems in the area.
Residents living closest to the site were also worried the anaerobic digestion plant could pose a safety risk and release flammable biogas into the atmosphere in the event of a power or process failure.
Power company bosses, however, dispute the site would be a threat to those living nearby. They say no odours would be released into the atmosphere due to the sealed nature of the building and they promised to restrict lorry movements.
SNOW* spokesperson Tim Lee added: "Clean Power have pulled out just as the campaign started questioning the safety record of similar sites elsewhere in the country. If they try to put in again for planning permission local residents will be waiting and watching."
The campaigners have now cancelled their next public meeting, scheduled for June 4, but members plan to keep a watchful eye on any future development of the site as Clean Power are expected to submit a revised planning application to Dudley Council incorporating suggestions made by the Environment Agency.
No-one from the company was available to comment.
But a letter submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by James Waterhouse, director of Iceni Projects - agents for Clean Power, states the company remains "fully committed to the principle of the development of an energy recovery centre at this location".
Any residents wishing to be alerted if new plans are submitted can still contact SNOW* by calling Tim Lee on 01384 936652 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org