A DECISION on plans for a £180m waste refinery in Eastham has been deferred until after a site visit has taken place.

Wirral planning authority was due to discuss Biossense's scheme to construct an "energy-from-waste" plant using gasification technology at Hooton Park.

The proposed project has rekindled fears over a possible traffic surge through the village.

If approved, construction is likely to take 28 months during which time 300 people will be employed on the site. On completion 68 permanent staff will be employed there.

The application site is situated around one kilometre east of Eastham Village. In the immediate vicinity of the site industrial development includes the Vauxhall car plant and oil storage depots associated with Eastham Docks.

To ease local misgivings Wirral Council planners – who have recommended approval for the scheme – are seeking a condition to ensure all contractors using HGVs to deliver waste and other suppliers to the plant, do not use the road through the village.

Biossense’s proposed sustainable energy facility was originally given permission in 2009 but the company plan to change the scheme to make use of more advance technology to create energy from waste.

Documents indicate the maximum amount of commercial and pre-processed municipal waste the facility would receive would be £400,000 tonnes a year.

Wirral Wildlife are insistent that conditions imposed in the 2009 planning approval must be thoroughly carried out, especially with regard to bats.

A number of legally protected species have been recorded on site, including bats, badgers and barn owls.

The report to planning committee tonight concluded: "It is considered that the development represents an important option in the waste management cycle with sustainability benefits to landfill."