A NEW incinerator should be independently monitored to ensure it does not expose residents to dangerous pollution, a council has said.

Bosses at Braintree Council have given their response to the Environment Agency's plan to issue a permit for Gent Fairhead's proposals to build a waste plant and 35 metre chimney at Rivenhall Airfield.

A public consultation on the environmental permit ended earlier this month and all responses will be considered before a final decision is made.

In its response, Braintree Council says it has major concerns about the scheme, which was first granted planning permission back in 2010.

The authority argues the plans have been "substantially" changed throughout the last ten years and says it shares the frustration with residents over the Environment Agency's proposal to issue a permit.

It has also called for a third party to be involved in the monitoring of the waste plant and its impact on air quality.

Indaver will operate the incinerator once built and under the permit, will be required to submit data on emissions from the site to the Environment Agency on a regular basis to demonstrate pollution levels are below the legal limit.

Braintree Council's planning boss Gabrielle Spray said: "We are very frustrated that this incinerator might go ahead despite such a long and complex history.

"It has been more than a decade since the Secretary of State granted planning permission and given the changes to the scheme we would have liked to have seen more consultation with the public to better consider their concerns.

"I fully understand and share residents’ worries especially around air pollution.

"Within our consultation response we have asked the Environment Agency to consider imposing conditions requiring additional air quality checks are put in place to make sure that if the incinerator has to go ahead then additional rigorous, independent air quality checks are carried out to provide local residents with reassurance that the operation of the incinerator does not expose them to dangerous air quality."

It is not known when the Environment Agency will give a final decision on whether it will grant a permit for the incinerator.

It has previously issued a permit for the waste plant to built with a 58m chimney. However, this proposal was refused planning permission by Essex County Council last year after councillors declared there was no longer a need for an incinerator in Essex.