PEEL Energy is to appeal against Trafford planning chiefs' decision to reject its scheme for a biomass energy plant in Davyhulme.

The move comes seven months after the controversial scheme was unanimously thrown out by the boough's planning committee, over fears about the effect it would have on public health.

The application provoked a massive backlash, with the Breathe Clean Air Group spearheading the campaign to oppose it.

Peel wants to build a power plant - known as the Barton Renewable Energy Plant (BREP) - on land near Barton Bridge. It would burn biomass materials, the majority of it waste wood, to generate electricity for 37,000 homes.

Announcing the decision to appeal, Peel Energy's project manager, Jon England, said: "It is accepted that the UK needs to develop a balanced mix of low carbon energy generation infrastructure to tackle the challenge of providing secure and affordable renewable energy, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"In view of this, the BREP proposals deserve the highest level of consideration through a public inquiry.

“A public inquiry will provide an opportunity for us to present the evidence we believe will demonstrate that the site is a suitable location for a biomass-fuelled renewable energy plant.”

The Breathe Clean Air Group pledged to continue the fight.

Chairman Pete Kilvert said: “This is a flagrant lack of consideration to build and operate a waste incinerator in a densely populated area.

“This incinerator has got to be stopped - because if we don’t, we will be stuck with its pollution for the next 25 years.”

Leader of Trafford's Labour group, Cllr David Acton, said: ''I am appalled at the news that Peel have appealed against the unanimous decision of Trafford planning committee.

"Although legally Peel Holdings are able to appeal the decision, I think it is morally outrageous that they seem to dismiss the feeling of thousands and thousands of residents who live in the Davyhulme, Urmston and Flixton area, and dismiss the unanimous view of the elected members.

"Residents have been really worried about the serious health effect that they feel such an incineration plant will have on the area. It is clear that there is already high pollution in the area with the motorway and constant streams of congested traffic on the local road network, Trafford Park and Trafford Centre nearby.

"This plant would add to the pollution which people experience in this heavily populated area.

"I and residents will fight this appeal with the same commitment and vigour which we fought the original planning application. I call on Peel to see sense and withdraw the application now."