CIVIC chiefs have rejected plans for a controversial "energy centre" in a Hampshire village.

The proposal would have seen 150,000 tonnes of waste taken to Micheldever Station by 15,000 lorries per year, to the six-acre site in Overton Road.

It would be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and produce 7.6 megawatts of electricity.

Clean Power Properties said the move would create up to 30 permanent new jobs, and 180 during construction.

Hampshire County Council planning officers recommended rejection, on the grounds that it would be intrusive on the local area, is on previously undeveloped land, and would be damaging to local ecology.

A packed public gallery clapped after Nick Hurrell, a member of the Micheldever Action Group, said: “The only financial beneficiaries of this would be private investors, not local residents.

"There has been no community involvement from the applicant over the past two years and no-one from Clean Power themselves has engaged with the local community. So what can be said about trust?”

Adrian Bates, also of MAG, said: “Surely you can not endorse an application that will make Micheldever the waste capital of Wessex?”

Councillors and speakers alike raised concerns over lorries entering the village from the nearby A303 and the potential impact on the environment, as well as noise and foul smelling gases.

Chris Herbert, on behalf of Clean Power Properties, urged councillors to reconsider.

He said: “There is a continuing need for this kind of plant. It will provide up to 180 construction jobs and employ more than 25 full time people. We have been working very hard to erase the issue of nature conservation.”

Thirteen councillors voted to reject, one to approve, and one abstained.

Mr Hurrell said: “We are delighted that common sense planning has won. It was very clear it was going to blight the village of Micheldever Station and we are confident that we have sufficient evidence to continue fighting if need be.”