Powerfuel bosses have hit back at the authors of a new report which claims that the harm arising from the construction of a proposed waste incinerator on Portland ‘would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits’.

A report has been published assessing the planning application for the £100m Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Portland Port.

The power plant would use waste as a fuel to produce 15MW of low carbon energy, enough to power around 30,000 homes. The plans were first revealed during a public event last December and were met with a mixed reaction.

There is now major opposition - and campaigners are concerned about the increase in traffic and pollution from the plant, as well as its location on the Jurassic Coast.

A planning application has been submitted to Dorset Council.

The report was commissioned by protest group Stop Portland Waste Incinerator (SPWI) using money which was raised by the group through a public campaign.

The report claims the air quality assessment submitted to Dorset Council by Powerfuel is ‘inadequate’ and concludes: “The harm arising from its construction would significantly and demonstrably outweigh any benefits.”

The report suggests seven ‘major issues’ with the proposed waste incinerator, including on-site emissions, the height of the stack, and the impact of ship emissions.

The report, which is available on the SPWI website, said: “It is considered that any one of the issues identified in this review as ‘major’ is sufficient to invalidate the conclusions presented in [Powerfuel’s] environmental statement.”

SPWI spokeswoman Lucy Grieve said: “The report confirms our worst fears about the waste incinerator plans. It is clear that Dorset Council does not need an incinerator on Portland and it would blight the setting of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Powerfuel bosses have hit back against the findings detailed in the report.

Directors have challenged the claims made by Adams Hendry, the planning consultancy commissioned to write the report, and say they intend on submitting a detailed response on all the points raised in the document to Dorset Council.

Steve McNab, director of Powerfuel Portland, said: “The report contains errors and misunderstandings and has not identified any material reason for the Portland ERF to not be consented.

“Our application contains a comprehensive environmental statement which has been scoped and prepared in accordance with best practice guidelines in consultation with Dorset Council and all of the relevant statutory bodies.

“Significantly, the report has failed to understand the benefits of locating the plant on the port to provide shore power and so has significantly undervalued these benefits in terms of carbon offset and air quality.”