TV legend Johnny Ball: 'Incinerators are wonderful'
TV legend Johnny Ball has waded into the incinerator row, saying waste burners are 'wonderful'.
He is backing plans to build a £500million energy-from-waste plant at Javelin Park, near Haresfield. He is so keen on them, he has requested one be built near his own home in Buckinghamshire.
The TV maths genius, whose daughter is BBC Radio 2 DJ Zoë Ball, said: "They are so healthy and clean that they are wonderful. We get all this energy from burning our waste.
"The campaigners have got nothing to worry about, nothing at all.
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"I know the area where they want to put the incinerator well and it seems like a very likely place for it to go because it is already besmirched by the motorway."
Asked what he thinks about campaign groups who are opposed to the incinerator, he said: "These people are really fanatical and there's no recourse for going around scaring people."
Mr Ball, who has just starred on Strictly Come Dancing, is outspoken on energy and waste issues but his latest remarks are set to ignite the debate over Gloucestershire County Council's plans for a burner even further.
The 74-year-old, who lives in Farnham Common, Bucks, said: "I have a sprawling landfill site two miles from my home and I asked the council to build an incinerator instead.
"Almost every European country, with the exception of the UK, have long since realised that one good way to cut down the burning of fossil fuels is to burn waste instead. Waste is free in that we have to collect it anyway."
Campaigners from groups such as Glosvain fear particles released for the burner will cause acid rain, reduce life expectancies and cause baby defects.
Urbaser Balfour Beatty, the firm who would build and run the burner for 25 years, say that the incinerator is safe and meets all health standards.
Mr Ball, who confirmed he has not been paid by UBB to make his comments, quipped: "Arsenic is very dangerous but if you keep it in a bottle then it can't harm you. We have got to get this argument in proportion."
A contract has been signed to build the burner but planning permission is still being sought.