Residents and campaigners say controversial changes to plans for an incinerator near a residential area could lead to Carlisle being branded a "waste city".

Permission has already been granted for an £80m "energy from waste" processing facility at Kingmoor Park despite objections from those living on the nearby Lowry Hill housing estate and a petition signed by 365 people.

But the firm behind the scheme, which will feature a 70 metre high chimney stack, now hopes to secure a green light to increase the amount of waste it processes on the site every year by 50 per cent.

Residents had also been promised the plant would run on the latest biomas "gasification" technology which would create energy for use on the Kingmoor Park industrial estate with minimal environmental cost.

But applicants Fortum Carlisle Ltd and Kingmoor Park Properties Ltd now want to install an older style "rolling grate" incinerator which will burn the incoming materials at high temperatures.

The application has been submitted at the same time as a proposal to create a new facility at Hespin Wood Waste Management Park, at Todhills, north of Carlisle, which would process 100,000 tonnes of waste and recycling every year.

A portion of this would be sent on to the Kingmoor Park plant.

Dr Helen Davison, chairman of the Carlisle and District Green Party, said the changes proposed to Kingmoor Park were unacceptable.

"They want to change the type of incinerator altogether when what they said all along was that it would run on new, greener technology," she added.

"Now they are proposing to burn 50 per cent more waste on site which will produce an output just 14 per cent greater, which shows how inefficient it would be.

"We could end up with even greater levels of pollutants entering the atmosphere, and residents living under a plume of it.

"With the Hespin Wood application coming forward at the same time, we are danger of Carlisle becoming known as a waste city," Dr Davison added.

A series of objections to the changes to the incinerator plan are believed to have been submitted to Cumbria County Council planning bosses.

Included in these are concerns from experts within conservation body Natural England who have formally requested a new air quality assessment is carried out to look at the potential impact of a traditional incineration plant on the surrounding area.

Without this, Natural England will object to the proposal over fears the scheme could have a significant effect on the River Eden and Tributaries site of special scientific interest.

Carlisle City councillor Gareth Ellis added that nearby residents were also angry at the proposed changes.

"People were promised an incinerator that used new technology to take out the toxins before they reached the environment," Mr Ellis told The Cumberland News.

"But this is being changed for a traditional incinerator that basically burns waste as hot as it possibly can.

"People are worried about air quality and it's also a visual intrusion. This is the wrong site for something like this, so close to a residential area.

"I will be asking that it should be considered as a new application."

Cumbria County Council will now consider whether to recommend the changes should be permitted.

The application for a new 11 metre tall building at Hespin Wood, near Todhills, has been submitted by Cumbria Waste Management Ltd, a firm owned by Cumbria County Council.

The plant would sort co-mingled recycling, seperating out what could be transformed into 'refuse derived fuel' from recyclable dry materials and landfill.

The application states this material - estimated to be as much as 67,000 tonnes a year, would then be supplied to the Kingmoor Park site where it would be incinerated.

Hespin Wood would operate 24 hours a day and create 10 jobs, the application states, with 7,930 HGV journeys into and out of the site every year.

Dr Davison added: "I don't think people will object to the recycled waste being sorted on site at Hespin Wood, but a proportion of it is likely to be transferred to Kingmoor Park.

"The big picture here is wrong. We are creating a monster and residents are angry about it. We should be trying to find ways to reduce greenhouse gasses, not increase them with an incinerator.

"If it is carefully managed and food waste is taken out, it it actually better to landfill some waste than burning it.

"This plan is completely the wrong way to be dealing with waste."

Kingmoor Park Properties, which is the landowner of the site, declined to comment while the planning process is ongoing.