Opposition from villagers grows over Cemex expansion

Opposition from villagers grows over Cemex expansion
Published: 17 November 2008

Residents in a Warwickshire village in the UK have vowed to fight plans to expand a plant which could turn domestic and commercial waste into fuel.

Cement firm Cemex wants permission to build a 16-acre unit on its old cement works at Southam that would turn waste from across the county into "climafuel" for use at its works in Rugby.

But residents are angry about the traffic, smell and environmental impact.

More than 100 people from surrounding areas gathered at the Long Itchington community centre to raise their concerns and pledge their support to a campaign against the proposals.

Local man Chris Hurt has done a lot of research into the application and presented his findings to the meeting.

He said: "The building which is being proposed is not big, it’s enormous. The equivalent of six and a half football pitches and we are going to have an extra 300 lorries a day coming through the village.

"It will have a clearly negative environmental impact on the village and surrounding areas."

Pam Ashford, who lives on the Leamington Road, with husband Keith, said: My number one concern is the traffic. I think Cemex are not giving an accurate account of what the increase in traffic will be.

"It is a beautiful village and this plant will spoil it."

Andy Jack, who lives on Marton Road, with wife Sue and two sons, said: "We are concerned about the traffic, it is already a busy road.

"This meeting has raised awareness and many people in the community are now getting involved because there is a whole host of environmental issues."

Ian Briggs, a parish councillor added: "Our campaign is beginning to gather pace. We had a great turn-out. The community is really pulling together. The proposals are not acceptable."

Cemex has also submitted an alternative application to build a Climafuel plant at Rugby to Warwickshire County Council.

A decision is expected to be made next month or early next year.