TWO district MPs have opposed plans for a controversial waste-to-energy plant in Keighley over air quality concerns.

Robbie Moore (Keighley and Ilkley, Conservative) and Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative) claimed the plans, earmarked on a former gas works site on the Aire Valley Road at Marley, will be a blight on the landscape of the Aire Valley and damage the air quality for residents.

Both MPs have made their views clear to Bradford Council, Government ministers and the Environment Agency and now are urging residents to take part in the consultation which has recently been extended until midnight on July 29.

Residents have until July 29th to submit their views on the Aire Valley Incinerator, and these can be submitted to the Environment Agency here:

Halton Group’s scheme would be a refuse derived fuel power plant, where pre-treated waste is burned to convert the material into energy, ash and gasses, and a waste plastics melting plant.

Mr Moore said: “It is extremely disappointing that the Environment Agency are now ‘minded to approve’ an environmental permit, and that they have proceeded to the second consultation stage, especially as the UK is still abiding by lockdown and social distancing restrictions. I have been working alongside the Aire Valley Against Incineration campaign group, as well as my friend and colleague Philip Davies, to pull together a robust response to this consultation and make as many people aware of it as possible.”

Endless Energy has been given planning permission for the scheme, but a decision on an environmental permit application is still with the Environment Agency which they have said they are ‘minded to approve’.

Mr Davies said: “I opposed this incinerator from the beginning and submitted a formal objection when Bradford Council gave it planning permission. Air quality is a huge issue already and this will add to it. Without doubt the Environment Agency need to change its stance on this and refuse to grant a licence.

“I fully support Robbie in his attempts to stop this going ahead in his constituency and have consistently made my opposition known. I fear this scheme will have a detrimental impact on my constituents too especially in parts of Shipley and Bingley and I will not sit quietly and let it happen while there is still a chance to influence the outcome. I will use every tool I have available to me and raise this matter with all interested parties to ensure the rights of my constituents are protected.”

Air pollution levels across the UK has fallen significantly as a result of lockdown as people travel less and work from home.

Last week the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee announced an inquiry into air quality and will look at how the UK can emerge from the crisis economically, while still maintaining the low levels of air pollution.

Mr Moore, who is a member of the committee added: “Air pollution is clearly a killer, and it may put people at higher risk of catching other deadly diseases such as Covid-19, meaning we should do all we can to reduce air pollution.

“I’m glad the EFRA committee recognises the need to reduce air pollution, but I can’t stay silent while the Environment Agency recommends the approval of a waste incinerator in my constituency, next to homes, playing fields and schools in close proximity. The risk to younger, older and more vulnerable people is just too great.”