A HUGELY controversial £135 million energy plant has been given the final go-ahead.

The agent for the firm behind the massive scheme revealed this week that all planning conditions required to allow building to start have now been met.

Jo Steel, of JO Steel Consulting, said amendments to the proposals for the 'waste to energy plant' – on the site of the former gasworks at Marley in Keighley – had been approved by Bradford Council officers.

A date for construction work to begin on the project, which could create 500 jobs, is yet to be announced.

But opponents of the scheme have vowed to fight on.

Jane Stone, a founder of Aire Valley Against Incineration group, said the applicant still needed to secure a licence from the Environment Agency, and the their battle will continue.

She said: "This huge building will blight the whole valley, from Skipton to Bradford, for many years to come.

"How this came to be passed in 2014 is a mystery, but I realise there was very little publicity about the plans and almost no public consultation.

"In other areas of the country, when a wind farm or a solar farm is proposed, every property in the vicinity is informed and asked for an opinion.

"Had this been done, this would never have been passed in the first place."

Mrs Stone, who lives in Marley, said when the applicant proposed a different design for the plant last year, this was rejected by the council's planning committee following massive opposition.

But she said the company had since altered its plans at council officer level, without needing a debate in public.

"The entire valley will suffer from the decisions made by one planning officer, as the last change the developers have made to their plans does not need to go to a full planning committee for discussion," she added.

"Some people may think incineration is a good way to dispose of waste, but the toxic fumes given off will make them think again."

A Bradford Council spokesman said the planning application had been fully advertised before a decision was made.

"An application for three plants to recover energy from waste on the land of the former gas works in Keighley was approved by the council in April 2014," he added.

"Before the application was submitted, the developers held a public information day. When the planning application was submitted in October 2013, we advertised with site and press notices and sent letters to the closest neighbours. Because amended plans and further details were also submitted, this publicity was carried out on four separate occasions.

"A further application for two plants to recover energy from waste was refused by the council in August 2015. This application was again advertised with site and press notices and letters to the closest neighbours.

"Both planning applications were considered by councillors at committees, with representations from the public taken into account.

"A minor modification to the approved application was received in December, 2015. This involved repositioning some roller shutter doors, pipes, minor increase in landscaping and a reduction in the stack diameter. This was approved following the submission of an officer report. At no point in the process has there been any decision made by one planning officer."