THREE controversial public meetings will be held this month by developers who are hoping to build a huge incinerator on an ex-airfield.

Gent Fairhead, which owns the former Rivenhall Airfield site, will host the consultations in Bradwell, Coggeshall and Silver End.

In a statement announcing the open exhibitions, the developers say they hope they will help "answer any of the public's questions about the project and explain what has been done in preparing the applications."

Nick Unsworth, of Parishes Against INcinerator, said: "These meetings have only come about because of the report we published earlier this year - it seems to have scared them into doing something.

"They're basically going to come to town to try and convince us all that this is a good idea.

"I would definitely encourage everyone to come along and understand the impact this going to have on all of us - although a lot of people won't be able to go because of the timings."

Mr Unsworth warned the perception of air quality has changed massively since permission for the site was granted in 2010.

He said: "It should be remembered that this is an Essex County Council decision, not an Environment Agency one.

"But it's a matter of public health and safety - the World Health Organisation recently said air quality should be treated the same as smoking."

Meanwhile, Gent Fairhead have brought waste management company Indaver on board with the project as it seeks to push it over the line.

In the same statement, it says the pair "aim to develop and commence the main civil engineering works for the IWMF (integrated waste management facility) in 2019."

The group is waiting to hear back on its bid to change a permit for the site’s chimney, which would see it stand at 35 metres tall instead of 58 metres.

The Environment Agency rejected a permit for the 35-metre stack because it did not meet government’s guidance which led to plans being altered to 58 metres.

That was approved by the EA, but the 58-metre stack does not have planning permission.

A decision on the application for the stack may not arrive until the end of March.

Bradwell Village Hall will host the first round of discussions on Monday, January 14, while Silver End Village Hall will hold the second on Tuesday, January 22.

The final meeting will be at Coggeshall Village Hall on Thursday, January 24; all of the meetings will be held from 4pm until 7pm.