A number of studies have linked particles created in incineration to health risks, including cancer and infant mortalities.

Among those to oppose it are Friends of the Earth, and the British Society for Ecological Medicine.

Companies building incinerators say filters in the facilities take out the particles, but concerns exist among campaigners after some scientific studies suggested there were harmful particles which could not be removed by filters.

A Health Protection Agency statement on its current position on the impact on health of emissions to air from municipal waste incinerators, said: “While it is not possible to rule out adverse health effects from modern, well regulated municipal waste incinerators with complete certainty, any potential damage to the health of those living close-by is likely to be very small, if detectable.

"This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that modern and well managed municipal waste incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants.”

In an update it said: “The HPA will review its advice in light of new substantial research on the health effects of incinerators published in peer reviewed journals. To date, the HPA is not aware of any evidence that requires a change in the HPA's position statement.”