FEEDBACK from the second public consultation held last week for the proposed Barton Renewable Energy Plant saw “strong levels of support” from the public, Peel Energy have said.

Around 60 people attended the two day consultation at the town’s Powerleague Soccer Dome last Thursday and Friday. Following the submission of the planning application earlier in the month, Peel were inviting members of the public to view the slightly revised plans for the biomass-fuelled plant.

Visitors were able to ask staff from the Environment Agency about their role in the planning process and also discuss the proposal with Planning Aid, an independent body that offers advice to the public. A questionnaire also asked visitors for their views on the scheme, but just 10 people responded, with eight in favour and two against.

Peel Energy project director, Jonathan England commented: “We continue to be extremely pleased with the level of backing being demonstrated for the Barton Renewable Energy Plant project by the community.

“Our proposal is robust and modern in outlook. It will meet all statutory air quality criteria and deliver secure renewable energy and heat to communities and businesses in Trafford.”

But members of the Breathe Clean Air Group, set up to protest the plant on health grounds and who attended last week’s event, said it was time Peel admitted there was little support for the plant.

“Over 20 of our members attended Peel’s consultation event on December 9,” said a spokesman said. “The opportunity to ask detailed questions was welcomed, although we were left stunned by their naïve answers. We feel more determined than ever to fight this controversial incinerator all they way.

“Almost 5000 residents have now signed our petition and we are standing firmly together. Peel Energy’s continuing refusal to acknowledge the enormous opposition to its proposal highlights their complete indifference to the opinions and feelings of the local community.”

Adding: “We also learned that the EA will hold a public consultation before issuing a permit for the plant and we look forward to contributing to that.”

If planning consent is granted, the plant is expected to create over 100 construction jobs from 2012 and at least 15 local jobs once the plant is operational in 2014, as well as provide enough renewable electricity to power up to 37,000 homes – more than one-third of the homes in Trafford.