MORE than 200 Middlewich residents rallied against controversial incinerator plans at a packed-out public meeting on Thursday.

Energy giant Covanta has applied for permission to build an incinerator, capable of burning 370,000 tonnes of waste a year, at Midpoint 18 business park.

But the meeting at Middlewich Football Club, organised by anti-incinerator group CHAIN, focused on fears it would be to the detriment of public health, traffic and house prices.

Liam Byrne of CHAIN said: “There was a good turnout considering the pouring rain.

“There was a lot of anger, everyone was incensed and the whole meeting was lively.

“There was a unanimous show of hands against the incinerator and much of the talk was about where we go from here. The plan is to lobby Cheshire East as much as we can.”

A 5,000 signature petition has been collected and 100 protestors will attend the next town council meeting. Residents also have until May 31 to submit their formal objections to Cheshire East Council.

Representaives of Covanta were also met by a 40-strong demonstration outside the Victoria Buildings last Tuesday, as they went to give town councillors a half-hour presentation in support of its application.

CHAIN chairman Brian Cartwright said the speech left a lot to be desired.

He said: “They didn’t do a very impressive job of defending the indefensible – there were a number of ommissions and errors in the presentation.”

Meanwhile Pennymoor Drive resident Nicola Hill, 29, and Mr Cartwright lobbied Middlewich MP Ann Winterton on Friday, who agreed to do what she can.

She said: “There are many issues yet to be resolved and we have agreed to continue working together to achieve a satisfactory solution on behalf of my constituents. "

Nicola moved her family to the town because of the amount of investment being made in it, but said the threat of an incinerator is a ‘kick in the teeth’.

She added: “We have very little time or money left to fight this as the application will be decided at the end of May.

“If there is any local business such as lawyers, PR agencies or printers who can help financially, or just put a ‘No Incinerator’ sign in their shop window it would really help.”

All objection letters, petitions and posters can be downloaded at Objection letters can also be emailed to

Campaigners will also be holding a meeting tonight (Thursday) in the Boar’s Head Hotel on Kinderton Street at 7.30pm.