A LEADING international expert on waste disposal claims a planned waste disposal station for the Brent Cross Cricklewood development is effectively an incinerator.

Professor Paul Connett, who has battled against the building of incinerators across the world for 25 years said the technology does not yet exist to make the plans safe.

Developers of the £4.5bn project say the facility, which they call a waste handling plant, will turn rubbish into a gas which will then be used to fuel a power station.

However, Brent residents are upset about the plant being situated on the site of the current Bestway store in the Edgware Road, which they claim will impact on their health.

The retired professor of environmental chemistry said: “It's preposterous turning a suburban area into a dump town.

“The technology does not yet exist to do the kinds of things they are claiming. They say it's a gasification plant not an incinerator, but when you burn the gas you get many of the problems associated with incineration.

“Nano-particles, which are extremely small and very difficult to capture, are created and these can pass right through into the bloodstream and into the lungs and other organs and cause major health problems.”

However, Jonathan Joseph from the Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners, said the claims amounted to "scaremongering".

‘It is simply untrue and scaremongering to claim that this technology is unproven when it is already being successfully used in Japan and Europe.

"There are five gasification facilities in Norway alone, a number in Germany, and in fact several are already up and running very successfully in the UK.

"Far from being unregulated, any emissions from such facilities are subject to the strictest regulation at both European and UK levels to ensure there is absolutely no risk of harm to the health of local people.

"We will need to fully satisfy all the relevant authorities before we are able to proceed. Once again let me categorically state that we will not be building an incinerator and we have not sought planning permission for one."

The plans are set to be decided on by Barnet Council's planning committee at a special meeting next Tuesday, October 20.

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