Calderdale MPs unite against incinerator plan

Craig Whittaker MP
Craig Whittaker MP

Controversial proposals to construct two waste incinerators in Sowerby Bridge have united Calderdale’s MPs who are holding a meeting to rally opposition to the plans.

Halifax MP Holly Lynch and Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker are to hold the public meeting on Saturday to discuss the plans to build an incinerator in each of their constituencies.

The proposals, from Calder Valley Skip Hire, would see incinerators operating at either end of Sowerby Bridge, at both their Belmont site in Ryburn ward, which falls in the Calder Valley constituency, and their Mearclough Road site in Sowerby Bridge ward, which lies in the Halifax constituency.

Both MPs say they have been contacted by dozens of residents concerned about air quality, and that Sowerby Bridge is already a known pollution hotspot.

Ms Lynch said: “I have already met with a number of objectors to these plans and understand the concerns that have been raised. Air pollution is directly linked to around a hundred deaths per year in Calderdale and although Sowerby Bridge is an Air Quality Management Area little progress has been made to improve air quality over the past decade.

“I am concerned that the situation will worsen if the plans for the incinerators go ahead.”

Last year a petition opposing a similar application at the Belmont site garnered over 1,400 signatures from local residents. Ward councillors for Sowerby Bridge, Ryburn and Skircoat are also united in opposition to the plans.

Mr Whittaker said: “My office has received dozens of enquiries from residents in relation to the planning applications and I am aware of the significant concerns that local residents have in relation to the impact that the incinerators may have upon our community.

“I would encourage residents to attend this public meeting and to ensure that they comment upon the applications before the deadline for responses”.

The meeting will take place at Foundry Street Community Centre in Sowerby Bridge this Saturday March 25 at 2pm.