Islanders who face having a cement works built near their homes say they fear for their health if it is given the go ahead.
Hercules Enterprises is applying to Kent County Council (KCC) for permission to build the plant in Sheerness Docks on Sheppey. The plant is designed to create up to 500,000 tonnes of cement a year with raw materials imported through the port.
Swale council has already lodged an objection to possible noise and asked for the decision to be delayed.
Sheerness Town councillor Dolley White has launched a petition calling for the scheme to be turned down. The petition already has more than 500 signatures.
She said: "This will affect everyone on Sheppey. The production process will be detrimental to air quality. The overloaded road network will suffer and therefore so will the quality of life.
"The site itself is expected to be in operation 24/7 which is unreasonable for a growing residential area."
Fellow campaigner and retired businessman Brian Spoor, 74, raised concerns at Swale council's Sheppey area committee meeting at Eastchurch village hall.
He warned: "Cement dust can damage lungs and cause cancer. Experts say it is very dangerous to live within five miles of a cement factory and even those within a 20-mile radius are in the danger zone. That will include most of Sheppey."
He added: "I really don't want to see a return to the bad old days when Sheerness was blighted by pollution spewing from the steel mill. Residents had to live with that for 30 years before it was finally closed down and demolished.
"Cement dust, which is made up of silica, is particularly harmful to the elderly and the young. Many families live within a stone's throw of the docks along New Road. It would be criminal if this was allowed to go ahead."
Mr Spoor has recently returned from Aarhus in Denmark where he saw a cement works operating. He said: "It's a relatively new plant but there were deadly clouds of dust everywhere. Raw material arrived by boat and was loaded into hoppers using two massive grabs and a giant crane.
"It was eye-opening to see it up close. I have grandchildren on Sheppey. I have to think about their future. I'm not against industry but if we have to have a factory like this, why can't it built at Ridham Dock out of the way of residential houses? It is essential we lobby Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson to get him involved."
Residents have previously raised fears that polluting dust could be blown across the town's Blue Flag beach by the wind.
Silica is a naturally occurring mineral in rock and soil. When inhaled, silica dust can cause silicosis, cancer and increase the risk of Tuberculosis (TB). Airborne silica is present in numerous industries including concrete manufacturing.
Hercules Enterprises, majority owned by Spanish group Cementos La Cruz, wants to build a grinding plant on the 2.3ha site on reclaimed land at the docks overlooking the Brielle Way.
Plans include a conveyor, four silos, EcoHopper, clinker storage hall, packaging plant, weighbridge and control rooms.
The company is represented in the UK by Stuart Mason-Elliott, chairman of Elliott Brothers, a builder's merchant from Southampton.
It is not known how much the plant will cost or how many jobs it might create.
In a public notice advert, KCC admitted the proposal "may affect the character and or appearance of the Sheerness Royal Naval Dockyard and Blue Town Conservation Area" and it may also affect the setting the listed Dockyard Church which is undergoing an £8m renovation.
Not everyone is against it, though. One posted on our Facebook page: "Getting more people employed on the Island will outweigh the downside and improve the Island economy, so why not?"
Cllr Andy Booth, who represents Sheppey on Kent County Council, warned: "We should be cautious about bandying words like 'dangerous' in a public meeting."
He stressed: "There will be a site meeting for councillors. No decision will be made until we have a full understanding of what is entailed."
The highest part of the plant will stand at 173ft (52m), taller than Nelson's Column (169ft).
To sign Dolley's petition visit here.
The planning reference is KCC/SW/0016/2022.