Controversial multi-million pound plans for a waste incinerator on Portland have hit a hurdle after town councillors voted against the proposed development.

Portland Town Council held an Extraordinary Planning Meeting to discuss an application made by Powerfuel to build a £100m Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Portland Port.

Extraordinary Planning Meetings are reserved for large, complex applications which are too detailed to discuss in regular planning meetings.

The meeting was attended by 11 councillors, six representatives on behalf of Powerfuel and 65 members of the public.

Powerfuel representatives gave a 10-minute presentation on their proposal which was followed by 10 three-minute presentations by members of the public.

After reviewing the presentations, councillors voted on the application - with eight voting against, one voting for and one abstention.

This decision counts as the town council’s view on the application; the final decision rests with Dorset Council.

The town council cited a number of reasons it collectively voted against the application, including the proposal being ‘misaligned’ with objectives set out in the council’s climate and ecological emergency declaration, a lack of robust testing on the impacts on human health, vibration and noise pollution caused by HGV movements, and the potential harm on the tourism industry.

Cllr Jim Draper, who voted against the proposal, said: “I think the incinerator will harm the local tourism industry. People come to Portland to go sailing and they are hardly going to want to do that if there is an incinerator there.

“The Jurassic Coast is a huge money spinner for the whole tourist industry in the south and Dorset is dependant on it. To build a waste incinerator would be putting that at risk.”

Cllr David Thurston gave the only vote in favour of the application. He said: “I think it would be a very good thing for Portland and I cannot see any enormous problems with it.

“I think that a lot of the objections have been exaggerated and do not carry much weight so I am in favour.”

Cllr Giovanna Lewis attended the planning meeting but was unable to vote due to her involvement with the Stop Portland Waste Incinerator campaign.

She was thrilled to see the council collectively voted against the proposal.

She said: “I am delighted that the council collectively decided they could not support the application for the waste incinerator as I have campaigned against it from the beginning.”

Cllr Lewis added: “I hope that the decision to vote against the application will carry some weight when Dorset Council come to make their decision.”