As well as members of the public senior councillors were present at the start of the inquiry.

Coun Russell Holland, the deputy leader of Swindon Borough Council was there as a local Stratton St Margaret councillor.

He said: "Conservative councillors have been opposed to this development for over two years, and we remain completely opposed to it now.

"I would like to thank all the residents who took time to come today to make the strength of feeling in the area known."

His ward colleague Coun Roger Smith, a planning expert himself sad: "I think strategic waste plants like this should be placed away from residential areas, as they have been in Oxfordshire, in Gloucestershire and near Heathrow."

Labour councillor Des Moffatt told the inquiry the plant was not needed and would damage the area.