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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 5 February, 2002, 17:19 GMT
Delays fan incinerator row
Wrexham Industrial Estate
The proposed incinerator would cost 25m
A north Wales Assembly Member has written to Wrexham County Borough Council, urging them to abandon plans for a controversial 25m incinerator.

Dr John Marek has expressed concerns over the amount of time it has taken to decide on the scheme's future.

John Marek and Campaigner
Dr Marek has joined calls to stop the proposal

In a letter to the authority's Chief Executive, Derek Griffin, Dr Marek questioned the delay in putting the proposals before the planning committee.

The letter stated: "Originally I was told that the planning committee would meet before Christmas, then it was February and the latest information suggests it's being pushed back into the Autumn."

However spokesperson for the council has defended the authorities position and said the planning process cannot be rushed.

"This is a complex planning application to which many objections and representations have been made.

Council bosses

"The council is taking great care to ensure that it will address all issues before bringing the matter before the council's planning committee."

The proposal by the Portuguese company - HLC has been dogged by criticism from people living in the surrounding areas who claim the facility will have massive health implications.

Last month, a petition with around 13,000 signatures from people opposed to the incinerator was handed in to council bosses.

The local authority has claimed improvements have to be made for waste collection in the county.

The Guildhall, Wrexham
Councillors are yet to decide on the incinerator

Currently, around 96% of waste in Wrexham goes to landfill sites - 3% is recycled.

HLC have said the new plant, which would be built on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, could deal with 120,000 tonnes of waste a year.

They claim that around 40% would be composted or recycled, and approximately 40% of the remaining waste would be combusted and turned into energy.

But Mr Marek wants the plans stopped: "I urge the council to abandon this scheme forthwith and to adopt an alternative scheme based upon a more intensive use of recycling and composting."

The AM has accused the council of wasting tax payers money: "The longer it takes for the council to come to a decision in planning terms, the more money the council is spending.

"Tax payers wish to see their money spent on social services, education and all those services that can provide returns for the town," he said.

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