A waste incineration plant has been approved in a rural area – despite strong opposition from residents and councillors.

Proposals to build the “energy from waste” facility at Ford Airfield Industrial Estate, between Arundel and Littlehampton, were approved by West Sussex County Council’s planning committee.

The plan will see more than 200,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste incinerated at the 6.5 hectare site each year. Road safety fears were raised over the estimated 108 HGV and 72 car movements per day at the site.

Trevor Ford, chairman of Ford Parish Council, said: “It’s not safe. This is a family recreation area. It’s not a motorway for goodness sake.”

Colin Humphris, chairman of Clymping Parish Council, said: “It will have a negative impact on the roads in Clymping and a negative impact on the lives of residents of Yapton Road and Rollaston Park.”

In total, 537 letters opposing the plans were received from members of the public and only five in support.

Grundon Waste Management’s circular technology block will include a materials recovery facility for recycling and an advanced thermal treatment facility to convert residual waste into energy.

About 200 construction jobs and 60 director roles are expected to be created from the development.

The plant will use ‘gasification’ to incinerate commercial and industrial waste to provide energy to the equivalent of 29,000 homes.

Grundon said the proposals would help West Sussex to meet its target of sending no waste to landfill sites by 2030.

About 600,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste is produced in West Sussex each year, the company said.

Gasification involves heating waste so it breaks down and reforms into a gas, which is used to run a turbine and produce electricity.

Grundon said emissions were limited – but campaigners said the environmental implications were unclear.

Andrew Short, estates director for Grundon, said: “By giving consent at Ford, West Sussex County Council has provided the opportunity for Grundon to develop a strategically important facility in the county, which will be able to meet the council’s ambition of zero to landfill.”