Anger over potential impact of proposed energy plant

An artist impression of the proposed renewable energy plant in Howdon the Port of Tyne have earmarked in Howdon.
An artist impression of the proposed renewable energy plant in Howdon the Port of Tyne have earmarked in Howdon.

Angry residents have hit out at plans to build a renewable energy facility saying it will have serious implications on their health.

Earlier this year, the Port of Tyne Authority revealed proposals to build the 25-megawatt power plant on the site of the former Howdon Yard.

The proposals would see the site regenerated and create up to 1,000 jobs in the process.

However, people living in Howdon and Willington Quay have hit out at the plans.

A public meeting at East Howdon Community Centre on Tuesday saw angry residents voice their objections and fears over the plans.

One resident said: “It’s going to affect the health of residents in the area.

“The plant is going to be billowing out fumes from a big chimney. Developers say it will be blown out to sea, but the wind direction changes, how can they guarantee that?”

Graeme Candsale, of Willington Quay, said: “How the PTA has the gall to call this a green development is beyond me.

“Accepting baled household waste from the cities of Newcastle and Manchester and trucking it from Teesside to North Tyneside to be ‘treated’ at temperatures of up to 800C seems less than efficient.

“There seems to be a litany of failed gasification projects in this country and abroad while evidence mounts that dangerous bi-products and toxic emissions pose severe health risks.

“The residents of the concerned communities are not taking this lying down. For too long, this particular enclave of North Tyneside has been used as a dump for the waste of others and a line has to be drawn to say ‘no more’.”

A spokesman for the Port of Tyne said: “The Port has had discussions and meetings with residents around the proposed site and listened very carefully to the issues raised at two community consultation events, which have been addressed in the planning application.

“The plans for Howdon Green Energy Park have the potential to bring the former Howdon Yard back into use, and make a significant contribution to the local economy.”

“The Port is also discussing opportunities to support community initiatives in the area with residents.

“The proposals are for a plant which would utilise advanced technology already in use elsewhere in the UK and in Europe, and designed so that any potential environmental impact would be strictly regulated and would remain well within national and European standards.

“We would be very pleased to speak to the residents concerned if they would like to contact us.”