PUBLIC consultation over plans to build a £400 million waste incinerator in Runcorn has been extended.

The Environment Agency is giving people more time to comment on a permit application for a proposed waste-fuelled plant to pump power into Ineos Chlor’s chemical manufacturing site in Sandy Lane, Weston Point.

Claire Bunter, environment manager for Cheshire, said: “We are consulting widely with a number of organisations and members of the public to ensure we have all the relevant information to help in reaching our decision.”

An additional information session will be held on Wednesday, January 27, from 3pm to 7.30pm at The Pavilions, Sandy Lane, Runcorn.

Details of the environmental permitting process will be available.

The Environment Agency must decide whether to grant or refuse the applicatiion.

If approval is granted, it must decide what conditions should be included in the permit.

The 100 megawatt combined heat and power station will supply one fifth of the energy requirements to Ineos, the UK’s biggest single consumer of electricity.

Residents who fear it could pose a risk to health formed an action group to oppose the plans.

Jeff Meehan, vice chairman of the Halton Action Group Against The Incinerator, said: “Our biggest fear is that more cancers will occur.

“We’ve already got the highest incidence of cancer of liver and kidneys in the UK.”

Consultation has been extended until February 4.

Any written comments already received will still be considered and do not have to be re-submitted.

Copies of the application are available to view at Halton Lea Direct Link and local libraries.

Any comments should be made in writing to The Environment Agency, Permitting Support Cetnre, PO Box 4209, Sheffield S9 9BSor e-mail