Council officials tonight unanimously rejected the planning application for a new waste recycling facility to be built near South Marston.

A number of objections had been raised against the Rolton Kilbride gasification plant, including those from local residents, parish councils and the University of Oxford.

Council planning officers had recommended the rejection of the proposals last week.

The 100-plus members of the public in the meeting, held at the Steam museum due to exceptional demand, were evidently largely opposed to the development.

The meeting began with an oversight of the application from Richard Bell, Swindon Borough Council’s head of planning, regulatory services and heritage, who highlighted that the 150,000 tonne capacity of the facility would be significantly greater than that of the existing Waterside recycling centre’s 100,000 tonnes.

He also confirmed that the facility would require a 52m high chimney – a key element in campaigners’ objections – and stated the requirements that the applicants had to fulfil to demonstrate the necessity of the proposed developments.

These included the need to show that there was high enough local demand for the plant, which council officers had advised was not the case.

A number of other suggested issues with the development included the strain on local roads, the unsightliness of the proposed buildings, and the impact on the heritage of the area. Council experts had advised that there would be minimal negative impact on these fronts.

Andrew Needham, the managing director of Rolton Kilbride, was keen to empahise the benefits of the site, saying that the plant would recover energy and heat from non-hazourdous waste, and only after recycling.

He also said that it would see £100m invested in Swindon, and boost the town’s economy in competition with others across the UK and Europe.

The most striking comments came from the company’s legal counsel for the application, Anthony Crean QC, who has previously represented Swindon Borough Council. He said: “The last thing I want to do is return with an appeal, and come back and put the council through a mincer, but I will do.”

“There is no chance that secretary of state will find that the harm outways the benefits of this development.

“I invite the committee to take an opinion which is plainly right, if not popular.

“I have no doubt that the secretary of state will back the appeal, and make the council pay the costs of the appeal.

“There is only one person in this room who will benfit from the rejection of this application, and that is me.”

Members of the public who had previously registered with the committee clerk were then allowed to speak for up to two minutes.

A number of local residents touched on themes which have been a regular part of the objectors’ campaign: the impact on air quality, the potential fire risk, the proximity of the site to local houses, a failure to demonstrate a need for the plant, suggestions that it is an incinerator under a different name, and the impact of the chimney on the character of the area.

A representative of the University of Oxford, whose Bodleian Library book storage facility is near to the proposed site, advised that they would not have chosen their location if they had known there was a possibility of such a development being constructed nearby.

When the time came for councillors to share their thoughts, the message was solely in objection to the development, with resounding support for the planning officers’ recommendations of rejection.

The final vote, under chair Coun Kevin Parry, saw the planning application unanimously rejected.