A massive waste incinerator will be built near Hull after council bosses approved the controversial scheme. Hull City Council has approved the planed plant at Saltend to deal with rubbish from Hull and the East Riding.

The decision means the 24,000 sq ft incinerator, on a site straddling the Hull and the East Riding council border, has cleared the final hurdle because East Riding councillors approved it in December. Serious concerns had been raised by opponents to the scheme, who gathered a 5,000 name petition.

The incinerator will burn 240,000 tonnes of rubbish every year to generate electricity and heat. According to Hull City Council and the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the facility is needed to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill dumps and to cope with increasing waste levels.

Objections ranged from environmental concerns to worries about the potential impact on health, possible damage to the Humber estuary and smells emanating from the plant. The firm behind the scheme, Waste Recycling Group, said it would offer a "sustainable form of waste management for the people of Hull and the East Riding".

Spokesman Mike Snell said the firm was hoping to have the incinerator running by 2010. WRG is currently applying for an Environment Agency permit for the plant. John Dennis, of campaign group Hull & Holderness Opposing The Incinerator, said he was very disappointed about the decision but said the group would "not to lie down" and would ensure WAG complied with the dozens of planning conditions attached to their permission.