ALMOST nine out of 10 voters are against plans for an incinerator in Middlewich, a Guardian poll has revealed.

More than 400 people have used our website since October 8 to have their say on the ‘energy-from-waste’ proposal for Midpoint 18 business park.

Out of those, 88 per cent of readers are against Covanta’s plans, while 12 per cent have no objection.

Only two voters – less than one per cent – have said they are undecided on the debate.

Brian Cartwright, chairman of Cheshire Anti-Incinerator Network (CHAIN), said: “Life’s never black and white but when nine tenths of the populace say they don’t want it, somebody has got to listen if it’s a democracy.

“This poll shows how many people in Middlewich and the surrounding area are against the monstrous proposal and confirms what we have been doing with our petition.

“Hopefully sense will prevail.”

Mr Cartwright said that the fight against Covanta is now more important after the Guardian revealed that chemical firm Brunner Mond is planning on building a waste-burning power station at its Lostock site.

He added: “We want to defeat Covanta to show other developers that it’s not as simple as putting a plan in that gets sanctioned.”

A large incinerator was also recently approved for Ince Marshes, 12 miles from Middlewich.

“Quite simply, an incinerator in Middlewich is not needed,” said Clr Mike Parsons, of Middlewich Town Council.

“At the end of the day this is a democracy and if they’re serious about correctly using the consultation process they should realise people don’t want it, so they shouldn’t get it.

“I just hope people getting incensed about not being listened to will remember this when it comes to election time.”

The proposal has been recommended for refusal by Middlewich Town and Cheshire West and Chester councils.

But Cheshire East Council is still due to make the final decision.

Mr Cartwright added: “We’re two-thirds of the way there, we’re pushing Cheshire East for a decision and we’re fighting with every means in our armoury.”

A spokesman for Covanta said: "Modern Energy-from-waste plants provide a safe, clean method of waste disposal, in line with government policy.

"Such facilities play an important part in helping the environment by reducing the need for landfill, reducing the need to burn fossil fuels and also reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

"Covanta’s proposals for an Energy-from-waste plant in Middlewich will secure up to 300 local construction jobs at peak times and an additional 50 permanent jobs will be created when the plant becomes operational.

"It will also bring £200 million pounds of inwards investment into the area, with contracts available for local businesses.

"The proposed facility would also provide British Salt, one on Middlewich’s largest employers, with combined heat and power, which will help reduce energy costs, ensuring both its long-term competiveness and long-term sustainable future in Middlewich.

"This would help in safeguarding 125 local jobs."