Fears over Rugby fuel plant plan

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A planned waste management facility sited next to Cemex has been criticised by Rugby Green Party for being a potential fire hazard.

But the company behind the plans has denied there will be any fire risk and said it thought it was the type of development the Green Party should be supporting.

Warwickshire County Council’s Regulatory Committee will meet on September 17 to decide on alterations to the waste processing plant on Malpass Farm, near Rugby, which has already been given planning permission. The site’s developer is SITA, on behalf of Cemex.

Steve Wright, of Rugby Greens, said: “A fire at the site would have a potentially devastating impact. We could see the West Coast main line closed for weeks if similar fires to that in other places in the West Midlands took place. Even a small fire on the site would very likely require the closure of the railway lines bordering the site.”

He added: “Burning waste is not the solution. We need to reduce waste, recycle waste, reuse waste, and prevent waste being generated in the first place.”

SITA said there would be a comprehensive fire detection and suppression system in the building and that it was impossible to compare fire risk at the Rugby site to other sites in the West Midlands that had caught fire because Rugby’s would not be stockpiling thousands of tonnes of waste.

Ben Harding, general manager at SITA UK, said: “The facility at Malpass Farm will create a fuel from waste that is left over after recycling and this will be used as a fossil-fuel replacement at Cemex. This is great news for the environment as we will be putting waste to good use.

“We have consulted with local people and we would welcome the opportunity to meet with the Green Party so they can gain an understanding about the stringent measures that we will put in place.”