PLANS for a biomass plant in West Thurrock have been given the go ahead to be approved next week despite huge public calls for the proposal to be scrapped.

Plans for the plant on the vacant Fiddlers Reach site off Wouldham Road were submitted earlier this year by partners Procter and Gamble, Balfour Beatty and Nexterra. The plant will generate electricity for the P&G factory next door.

Council planning officers have given the thumbs up to the plans, but the final decision will lie with a planning committee next Thursday evening.

Residents close to the site say the plant – standing 100m tall - will pollute the air, drive down property prices and create noise.

Cross party councillors have also shown their dislike for the proposal, with it being central to campaigners during last month’s West Thurrock by-election.

A petition with 352 signatures against the plans have been submitted to the council, along with 309 letters of objection.

Letters of support for the plant have also been received – from the plant manager, and the vice-president and general manager of P&G.

Environmental Health haven’t objected to the plans, and the Environment Agency have no objections as long as conditions are made to address the issues of contaminated land flood risk.