A MIDDLEWICH resident has accused the company behind plans for a giant incinerator of breaking its promises to the public.

Covanta, the American firm that wants to build a plant capable of burning 370,000 tonnes of waste a year in Midpoint 18 business park, wrote an open letter to Guardian readers in June.

In the letter, Covanta’s managing director Malcolm Chilton said: “Waste, and how we dispose of it, is a vitally important issue to us all.

“I and my colleagues at Covanta are keen that there should be an informed debate on the subject and are always available for discussion to answer your questions.”

But Alan Langley, of Lindisfarne Close, told the Guardian that he has called Covanta’s representatives three times and claims his questions have never been answered.

He added: “I’m feeling pretty disillusioned. They’re being economical with the information.”

The first time Mr Langley called Covanta’s information line was in February when he wanted to know if Covanta intended to build a bypass should the incinerator be given the green light.

In May, he asked for a copy of the site report.

Then in June he called to complain that Covanta had accused its opponents of using ‘agressive tactics’ and ‘spreading inaccurate information’ in the open letter.

Mr Langley said: “Each time they haven’t got back to me and so I haven’t bothered since.

“They could have at least rang back to say sorry they couldn’t help.”

But a spokesman for Covanta said that the company was ‘satisfied’ that Mr Langley’s questions had been addressed during the initial three phone calls.

He also accused some of Covanta’s opponents of using the phone line inappropriately.

“The purpose of Covanta’s freephone line is to provide anyone with an interest in the project with clear factual information,” he added.

“It has handled many calls from residents with genuine questions and, each time provided factual information.

“Unfortunately a small number of people, opposed to Covanta’s proposals have taken it upon themselves to use the facility to leave impolite messages.

“A few others have attempted to enter into arguments with the staff manning the phone lines.

“Obviously, this is not the purpose of the line and we believe it is not in anyone’s interest to respond to such calls.”

Meanwhile, Covanta’s 8,000 opponents are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the plans.

The incinerator has been recommended for refusal by Middlewich Town Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

But Cheshire East Council’s planning committee will ultimately decide its fate.

Mr Langley added: “I’m wondering if Covanta is dragging its feet, waiting for the issue to die down.”