WORRIED residents have raised health concerns about a plan to expand the waste-burning capacity of Edmonton incinerator.

Owner LondonWaste wants to increase the amount of rubbish that can be burnt on the site from 500,000 tonnes to 800,000 tonnes.

Around 100 people from Enfield and neighbouring boroughs Haringey and Waltham Forest attended a public meeting about the proposal last Thursday at Lee Valley Leisure Centre in Edmonton.

The meeting was organised by the Government's Environment Agency, and chaired by Edmonton MP Andy Love.

Among those who questioned the safety of the expansion was Nightingale Lane Residents' Association, which asked about past chemical spillages and the potential for future incidents at the incinerator.

The managing director of the consulting engineers on the site, Nick Gamble, responded: "LondonWaste is very quick to clean up spillages and ensure they do not go beyond its borders."

Mr Gamble promised to investigate an Edmonton resident's claims that people on Lower Hall Estate suffered "significantly higher illnesses than people in other areas", because it was apparently downwind of the plant.

The proposal is for a new boiler 100ft tall, 20ft wide and 60ft deep -- 20ft higher than the present main building.

Along with the current boiler it would share use of the 325ft tall chimney which has become a familiar landmark on the skyline.

At the meeting, LondonWaste claimed incineration is a good solution to the problem of declining landfill space in south-east England, which could run out in seven to 15 years.

The company is to hold open evenings at the plant on September 1, 2 and 4 from 3 to 8pm.

LondonWaste will also open a visitor centre in Advent Road where community liaison officer Nicola Dowlen will be based to explain more about the plan.

Call the centre on 884 5537 for more information.

Copies of the proposals are available from Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest councils.

The final decision on whether the expansion should go ahead will be made by the Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson on advice from the Environment Agency.

All comments should be sent in writing by September 30 to: the Environment Agency, PIR/RSR Team, Apollo Court, 2 Bishop Square, ST Albans Road West, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9EX.~

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