“Viridor out” was chanted outside Sutton Civic Centre as angry locals protested against the Beddington incinerator.

It came as the facility applied to build a new diesel tank on land next to the plant.

The application from Viridor, which runs the ‘energy recovery facility’, was due to be discussed by Sutton’s planning committee on Wednesday night but was deferred last minute.

This didn’t stop more than 30 protesters gathering outside the council building ahead of the meeting.

General waste is incinerated at the facility rather than being sent to landfill.

It is currently used by the four boroughs in the South London Waste Partnership: Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Kingston.

In January, Viridor applied to the Environment Agency to process up to 382,000 tonnes of rubbish a year.

The initial capacity was 275,000 tonnes a year, though the facility could process 302,500 tonnes a year.

Verity Thomson, 47, stood as a Green Party candidate in May’s elections, getting 1,294 votes in the Carshalton Central ward – 395 votes more and she would have been elected alongside Liberal Democrat councillors.

Your Local Guardian: Verity Thomson with her children Edie and Frank Molloy (photo: Tara O'Connor)Verity Thomson with her children Edie and Frank Molloy (photo: Tara O'Connor)

She attended the protest with her two children.

Her daughter Edie Molloy, 11, said: “It is a bad thing because it is burning lots of plastic and poisoning the earth.

"There is a school and a playground near Beddington and there is a river and lots of birds near there, it is poisoning all the air around it.”

Verity said: “We want to see them decommission the incinerator.

"Sutton Council declared a climate emergency and said they would go net zero by 2030. A contract to keep burning waste doesn’t live up to this.”

Sarah Gwynn was at the protest with her dog Amber.

Your Local Guardian: Sarah Gwynn lives in Beddington (photo: Tara O'Connor)Sarah Gwynn lives in Beddington (photo: Tara O'Connor)

The 58-year-old who lives in Beddington said: “We were at the original incinerator protest, the question now is why do they want more diesel? It is for more burning.

“They have already increased the capacity and as residents we are totally opposed to what has happened, the pollution, the traffic and the fire that’s already happened there.”

Also there was 65-year-old Maria Dixon who lives near the incinerator and said it was the first protest she had attended.

Your Local Guardian: Maria Dixon attended her first protest, aged 65, against the incinerator (photo: Tara O'Connor)Maria Dixon attended her first protest, aged 65, against the incinerator (photo: Tara O'Connor)

She feared the facility was polluting the area and said any increases would see more lorries carrying rubbish driving through Beddington Village.

The protest was attended by councillors from the Labour and Conservative groups as well as independent Beddington councillor Nick Mattey.

He said: “I submitted a 20-page objection to the application for an 11,000-litre diesel store on Metropolitan Open Land.

“They want to increase the amount of waste burnt and there is going to be a lot more vehicle movements with all the waste they want to burn.”

At the planning meeting, committee chair Councillor Richard Clifton said the application had been deferred following a “late submission” which needs to be considered.

A date has not yet been set for when it will come in front of the committee again.

A spokesperson for Viridor said: “We have submitted a planning application for a new diesel storage tank at our Beddington ERF.

"The new tank will sit alongside an existing one. 

"The new tank will be used for the storage of diesel to fuel mobile plant on-site, while the existing tank will be re-purposed to store a specialist fuel that will be used to support the ERF operations during start-ups and for temperature maintenance during operation.”