Campaigners against a waste transfer station have rallied more than 2,200 people to write letters of objection and have been granted a meeting with officials.

Parents Sandra Staufer and Melanie White, who founded the Dump the Dump campaign against a £10 million waste transfer station and material recovery recycling facility, off Hollingdean Lane, Brighton, are determined to see the plans thrown out.

They said the proposed development at the former abattoir site, which would handle up to 200,000 tonnes of waste daily, is unsuitable for an inner city area because it would cause extra traffic, noise and pollution.

Onyx, which has a 25-year contract for waste management in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex and has applied for planning permission for the site, has agreed to meet protesters next week.

The city council has also agreed to meet them.

Last night, at a meeting at Hertford School, Brighton, campaigners addressed more than 100 homeowners from the Hollingdean, Five Ways and Ditchling Road area to talk about the plans and how best to object to them.

Ms Staufer, whose son, Njoku, attends Downs Junior School, which is on the edge of the proposed site, said: "To have such a large development in a residential area is ludicrous. The school playground is only ten metres away."

She said she was particularly worried about the health of local children as extra diesel fumes could cause asthma.

She said: "This isn't nimbyism. We are being misled by the council into thinking this will be all about recycling when 80 per cent of it will be to do with the waste transfer station."

Fran Pickering, of Hertford Road, was also worried about the health implications.

She refused to send her son, James, to Downs Infant School because of the current pollution levels along Ditchling Road.

She said: "The site is in a dip and there is no air circulation. They haven't considered the long-term well-being of people. I feel distressed and angry."

Anne Younger lives with her six-year-old son, Tom, in Ditchling Road, which backs on to the proposed site.

She said: "My real worry is the noise and whether I will be woken up when the lorries start or that my son will be unable to sleep until they finish at night."

Linda Jones, 54, of Roedale Road, said: "This site should be given over to low-cost housing because it is in the city centre. Waste disposal should be out of town.

"The price of property around here is going to go down because of this. Who would want to live next to it?"

Julie Archer, of Hollingdean Terrace, said: "I think it's disgusting they are contemplating building this in a residential area.

"The traffic is going to be dire. It's bad at the moment and will only get worse."

Onyx project director John Collis said the facility was necessary because landfill sites would be full by 2008.

He said: "Hollingdean is indicated in the Waste Local Plan as an appropriate site for this type of infrastructure.

"There has been a public inquiry and the inspector has supported it."

A meeting with Cityclean, from Brighton and Hove City Council, Onyx and homeowners will take place at Downs Infants School on June 23 at 6.30pm.

Mr Collis said: "At present, disposable waste from Brighton and Hove goes to a landfill site, which is due to run out in 2008. Something has to be done."

Peter and Lesley Leach said they would be informing people about the plans.

Mr Leach, 79, said: "I worry the house foundations are going to suffer with all the heavy traffic. The roads will be destroyed. They really haven't thought about the misery they are going to cause."