Councillors in Flintshire have rejected proposals for an £800m energy-from-waste plant on Deeside.
They voted by 10 to six to throw out the Parc Adfer plan from Wheelabator Technologies, despite 33 local business leaders signing an open letter urging them to back the scheme.
Members of the planning committee said there was no need for such a facility in the area, and cited concerns over pollution, noise and traffic.
The proposed 16MW facility would be able to process up to 200,000 tonnes of non-recyclable household waste a year in an investment estimated to be worth £800m during the 25-year lifetime of the project, with backing from the Welsh Government.
The facility has been commissioned by the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project, which is a partnership of five councils: Flintshire, Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy and Denbighshire.
Wheelabrator had said that permission during the first half of 2015 would mean construction starting by the end of the year and the facility becoming operational in 2018.
Parc Adfer project manager Phil Short said: “We are obviously disappointed that the planning committee has refused our application today. We now need to consider the reasons given for refusal and decide on our next steps.”
Councillor Ian Dunbar of Connah’s Quay, the largest town in Flintshire, told the local newspaper: “There is strong opposition against these plans from the people of Connah’s Quay. They are fearful of the fallout from emissions. Residents are concerned for their health and for their children’s and grandchildren’s health.”
When Wheelabrator launched a public consultation programme in May 2014, Gary Aguinaga, vice-president of UK operations, said: “We want people to ask us questions because that means we can start to address some of the concerns that have been raised, and we can demonstrate how our experience and commitment to excellence will make this a state-of-the-art facility that north Wales can be proud of.”