CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for a waste incinerator have voiced their dismay after the Environment Agency this week announced it was ‘minded to issue’ a permit for the controversial plant.

But opponents of the scheme, earmarked for a former gas works site on the Aire Valley Road in Keighley have vowed that the battle will go on. They say it will endanger people’s health and the environment – allegations refuted by the applicant, Endless Energy.

One of those objectors is Cllr Ros Brown (Ben Rhydding, Green) who is a Steering Group Member of Aire Valley Against Incineration. She said: “This draft permit decision is hugely troubling for the health of our local communities and sensitive Ilkley Moor environment. We know this extra incinerator capacity is not needed and risks diverting waste away from recycling. When I raised this issue with Ilkley Town Council over three years ago I expressed my concern that local people will be left meeting the health, environmental and associated financial costs of this proposed development. Now is the time for improving our air quality, preventing respiratory diseases, minimising the waste we generate as well as improving biodiversity and the capacity for carbon capture on Ilkley Moor. The first stage of this consultation in 2018 saw over 2000 responses submitted to the Environment Agency including those sent by Ilkley and Ben Rhydding residents. I urge people to scrutinise this draft permit and ask for the evidence supporting the decisions it is based on. The fight is not over and we owe it to current and future generations and our planet to make our voices heard in this final consultation stage.”

Simon Shimbles, chairman of the campaign group Aire Valley Against Incineration, is also urging people to make their views known as a second period of public consultation into the permit application begins.

Mr Shimbles said: “We are extremely dismayed at this decision – however, Endless Energy needs to know that we are not going away!

“Aire Valley Against Incineration is studying the documentation in detail and we will be responding. Endless Energy is still open to scrutiny, as is the Environment Agency’s decision. I would urge all our fantastic supporters to once again rally round.”

Ilkley MP Robbie Moore described the permit decision as “extremely disappointing” and “a severe blow”.

He said he would work closely with Aire Valley Against Incineration and others to formulate a “robust” response to the consultation. And he echoed the call for people to make their voices heard.

The Environment Agency says it has carried out a “rigorous environmental assessment” of the proposed activities.

Carly Chambers, area environment manager, said: “We believe the proposal meets the legal requirements of the Environment Permitting Regulations and that the incinerator will be designed, constructed and operated in a way that will not harm human health or the environment.”

The consultation runs until July 21.

Responses can be made electronically or by post.

To access the application documentation, visit

People can comment on the proposals by responding directly on the website or emailing

Postal responses – marked Endless Energy Consultation – should be sent to the Environment Agency, Permitting and Support Centre, Land Team, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue, Sheffield, S9 4WF.