THERE is a widely held public view that the proposed Barton Renewable Energy Plant (BREP) ‘poses an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of the public’, a barrister has claimed.

David Cunnington was speaking on behalf of the Breathe Clean Air Group on the last day of the public inquiry which will determine whether Trafford Council’s unanimous decision to refuse planning permission for Peel Energy’s BREP will be overtuned.

Expert witnesses from all sides have spoken at the inquiry, which was held at Manchester United football stadium, as well as numerous representations from members of the community.

Martin Kingston QC, representing Peel, hit back at Mr Cunnington’s assertion and said: “None of the professional advisors and regulatory bodies who reviewed the air quality assessment suggest that there will be an adverse impact on health.”

Inspector David Richards, who presided over the inquiry, will make his decision based on four key factors: the effect of the proposed development on air quality, the perception of impact on human health, the effect on the continuing regeneration of the area and whether the proposal would be sustainable.

Another key point of contention is whether vitality, attractiveness and self-confidence of Flixton, Urmston and Davyhulme will be adversely effected if BREP is built.

Vincent Fraser QC, representing Trafford Council, said: “The appellant has not produced any evidence which suggests, still less establishes, that development in the area of concern has not been affected by the appeal proposal.”

Mr Richards was accompanied by representatives from all concerned parties on a visit of sites that would be affected by the development yesterday, Wednesday.

A decision is expected on the proposal next year.