Campaigners who opposed Veolia’s controversial application for an enormous commercial incinerator in the rural Wey Valley rejoiced this week on learning that the company had not appealed against the refusal decision.

The plans were turned down by the members of Hampshire County Council’s regulatory committee on February 23, with Veolia given six months to launch an appeal.

In a statement, Hampshire County Council confirmed that no appeal notification had been received before this deadline expired on September 9.

A spokesperson for Veolia, which currently runs a recycling centre on the site of its proposed incinerator off the A31 at Holybourne, said: “We can confirm we are not appealing the regulatory committee’s decision.”

The regulatory committee turned down the plan, despite a recommendation from county council planning officers to approve the application, by a margin of 12 votes to three.

A spokesman for No Wey Incinerator, the group campaigning against it, said: “There was never any justification for building a fourth incinerator in Hampshire.

“The regulatory committee members recognised that the county had no proven need for this development and that the rural Wey Valley is a totally inappropriate location for such an enormous commercial operation.

“We are relieved to be spared a lengthy and costly appeal process, given that these two major objections are unchanged.

“However, we shall continue to monitor any future plans for the current Veolia site.

“We shall also scrutinise revisions to Hampshire’s Minerals and Waste Plan, as the capacity offered by the county’s three existing incinerators is more than enough to meet Hampshire’s needs, especially if the currently poor recycling rates are improved.”

Veolia’s planning application went through a total of four public consultations, resulting in more than 5,500 objections from local residents and businesses, backed by two MPs, three district and borough authorities, two town councils and 19 parish councils.

CPRE Hampshire, the South Downs National Park Authority and Historic England had also submitted strong objections.

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: “Veolia’s planning application was to construct an energy recovery facility for commercial waste at the existing Alton Material Recovery Facility.

“We confirm that the deadline for Veolia to lodge an appeal against the county council’s refusal passed on September 9, 2022. Hampshire County Council can confirm no appeal notification has been received.

“The decision not to appeal is for Veolia to make. Should Veolia decide to pursue development at the site the company would need to submit a new planning application to the county council as the minerals and waste planning authority.”