Five recycling plant views: Object, Object, Object, Agree, Object
- Credit: KMA
Three of its own departments have voiced concerns over a retrospective application before Cambridgeshire County Council to use a five-acre former equestrian site as a recycling centre.
Rob Chapman of KMA wants to continue with the business at Beats Lodge, Hooks Drove, Murrow.
Wisbech St Mary parish council has also lodged objections but Fenland District Council, a consultee on this occasion, believes permission should be given.
Mr Chapman’s agent Swann Edwards says the site has a history of domestic and commercial equestrian uses.
"However, the site is now occupied by the inert waste recycling centre,” says Swann Edwards.
“There is dense mature landscaping on all of the boundaries and the only building on the land is a portacabin which serves as an office/restroom and is located towards the front of the site.
“The site is laid out into three main sections comprising of the lorry parking to the front, the raw material within the centre and the processed material to the rear.”
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Swann Edwards says the application is retrospective – it began operating in February.
Access is via Hooks Drove, with the front section of the site accommodating the lorry parking and a portacabin office/restroom.
“The middle section of the site is where the processed materials are stored,” says Swann Edwards.
“The rear of the site is where the screener is located and where the raw material is held and processed.
“The machinery used for processing will be enclosed by straw bales to eliminate noise disturbance generated by the equipment.
“The enterprise processes waste which mainly comprises of the waste from highways work and building sites.”
Five HGVs operate from the centre but a permit from the Environment Agency will only be issued once planning permission is granted.
Objections have been raised by the county council’s flooding officer who wants a “site-specific flood risk assessment”.
Highways officer Phil Caves says he visited and concluded that the location is not suited given it will generate “significant HGV movements”.
He said: “The approach roads including Hook’s Drove are single track and unsuitable for additional HGV traffic by reasons of width and construction.
“At the access itself visibility is sub-standard (particularly towards the west) and not properly set out in terms of geometry and construction for HGV movements.”
He also criticised visibility splays and said it was unlikely highways objections could be resolved.
Deborah Ahmad, ecology officer biodiversity and greenspaces team, said: they object “until further clarification as to whether reptile surveys are required.
“In addition, given that this is a retrospective application, consideration must also be given to the potential impact of the scheme of site clearance works to date.”
The parish council says the location is wrong and they have concerns over traffic “on a very rural road”.
They also voice fears over “environmental issues including pollutions and brick dust, as well as the loss of amenity for the neighbours”.
Fenland Council, however, says the site “site does have an element of commercial use and thus the introduction of a commercial element is not considered to be significantly detrimental to the character of the area”.
The council said: “The proposal is supported in principle and no formal objection is being raised”
They felt the site should be screened and the height of stockpiles controlled.
“Any concerns regarding impact on adjoining users with regard to residential amenity, transport and flood risk would be fully assessed by Cambridgeshire County Council,” it added.
Swann Edwards say workers arrive in their own vehicles and then take a lorry out for the day to off load processed goods and then bring back waste to be processed.
“As such the site generates only 10 HGV movements per day,” they say.
“Given the backdrop of the extant permission for a commercial equestrian use (which could generate an unlimited amount of similar vehicular traffic) the movements associated with the proposed use are acceptable in highway safety terms.”
Swann Edwards also claims there is “good visibility in both directions to achieve safe access”.