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Neighbours in protest at Old Oak Lane incinerator plant scheme
EALING and Brent residents joined forces to protest outside Willesden Junction station on Saturday (13) against a planned waste incinerator plant off Old Oak Lane, Acton.
The Island Triangle Residents Association, consisting of more than 200 houses, is particularly concerned at Clean Power’s plans to develop the site so close to their community.
Battle-hardened TITRA have experience of unwanted developments, having fought for clean air since the neighbouring Powerday Waste Recycling Plant opened.
Mark Walker, 48 of Stoke Place Road, said: “It’s only over the last couple of years, with the Environment Agency working with Powerday’s management and local residents, reporting smells and incidents, that we’ve got anything like acceptable levels of odour. People aren’t happy about it.”
He is concerned the area will face a further problem of unwanted smells from Clean Power’s development, on the opposite side of Old Oak Lane to the recycling plant.
“People feel like they are hemmed in, like we’re almost a dumping ground for these big factories,” he said.
Clean Power claims its plant will be kept under negative pressure to prevent odours escaping and an independent consultancy has predicted the impact of air quality and odour to be negligible.
However, Odotech - a global company which tracks industry emissions – advises against building too close to homes.
Mr Walker said the same clean-air assurances were given with the recycling plant, but this had proved not to be the case.
“You couldn’t dream of having a barbecue in the summer,” said Marisa Merry, of Stephenson Street. “You’d be embarrassed. The smell turns your stomach.”
Mrs Merry, who attended the protest with her two young children, said it would be difficult to prove where the smell was coming from with both waste sites so close together.
Alessia Stevani, also of Stephenson Street, believes the proximity of the two waste sites to be dangerous.
“If something goes wrong, something’s going to go seriously wrong and we’re going to be affected in seconds,” she said, with her eight-year-old daughter stood by her side.
Powerday says it has met consultation requirements, having set up a public exhibition, website, free telephone hotline and SMS text line.
However, TITRA believe their opinions were not taken on board adequately.
Mark Walker said: “We told them at the face-to-face meeting that we weren’t happy with it. We said we needed to know more about the technology. There hasn’t been anything more forthcoming.
“I think they are interested in speaking to the planning committee, but not to the residents.”
Stephenson Street is likely to be the worst affected as it borders the proposed development site and is nearest the site entrance in Channel Gate Road.
Residents are also worried about lorry movements and the effect on the value of their properties.
Bernie Timmins, of Stephenson Street, said: “We have a good community spirit in the area. We do things together, such as street parties, and this is just going to spoil it. We’ll lose a lot of our community because people with kids will probably move out.
“Who wants their kids around that?”
TITRA plan to appeal if the council accept the proposals.