RESIDENTS plagued by foul odours in Halton say their borough is turning into the 'dustbin of the north west'.

Plans for a waste treatment plant to be built in a residential area of Widnes faced widespread backlash at a planning meeting in Halton last week – but were narrowly approved.

Councillors voted in favour of the controversial application by five votes to four, despite fears about the impact the facility would have on issues including traffic, noise and smells in the surrounding area.

Halton is home to a number of waste treatment facilities, including the UK’s largest waste incinerator in Runcorn.

Residents have repeatedly blamed the town’s Energy from Waste plant on smells that regularly waft into residential areas – although plant managers Viridor have always denied being the source.

The latest application will allow waste company Veolia to build a waste transfer and treatment facility within the Hale Bank Industrial Estate off Pickerings Road, where around 85,000 tonnes of rubbish will be processed each year.

One life-long Hale Bank resident said granting the application would be a 'kick in the teeth' to locals.

He told councillors: “The community has improved massively.

"Vehicles ferrying untreated waste to the site would be a kick in the teeth. I have got three grandchildren, we live within 100 yards of Pickering’s Pasture.

“Would anybody on the committee like this within 100 yards of their door?”

Voicing similar concerns, Hale Bank Parish councillor John Anderson, who is also a life-long resident of the area, said the waste treatment facility was not suitable for what was a predominately a residential area with one small industrial estate.

He argued this contradicted planning policies and threatened to legally challenge the decision if permission was granted.

The site is currently a contractor’s demolition yard. Veolia now have three years to develop the site into a waste treatment plant.