Approval for waste site amid concerns

Hugely controversial plans for a new low-carbon facility at an existing waste services site in Christchurch have been approved by councillors.

More than 700 residents, community groups and town and parish councils have opposed Eco Sustainable Solutions’ proposal for an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at their Greenbelt site in Chapel Lane.

Members of the BCP council’s planning committee backed a recommendation to grant the application, despite the local authority officer acknowledging that the development was “considered an inappropriate development in the green belt”.

Read more: Why are plans for a new waste treatment facility in Hurn so controversial?

Committee Chairman Cllr David Kelsey moved the motion to approve the plan, which passed nine to four.

“I think this app is a statement that we want to try to clean up the area and this particular company wants to do a good job,” Cllr Kelsey said.

He added: “We are talking here and now. We can’t just plan ahead. We have to deal with the situation in which we currently find ourselves. »

During the meeting, several opponents made representations to the committee.

David Barnes said: ‘You will have received an extraordinary number of objections, highlighting the far-reaching implications for public health, climate and wildlife that would flow from the approval of this application.

“The sad reality is that no improvements to this app will fix its fundamental flaws in these and many other areas.”

Read more: “An incinerator project”: objections are raised against the Christchurch landfill

Jenny Ansell, representing East Dorset Friends of the Earth, said the request was not in line with national policies.

The committee was also told that Autism Unlimited, formerly Autism Wessex, was concerned that the claimant and the BCP council had considered the potential impact on students at Portfield School – an on-site education facility for autistic children.

Plans include the ERF, a new administration building with offices, wellness facilities and a visitor center as well as plans to reposition green waste composting to the east of the site.

There will be a new access to Chapel Lane to serve the administrative and social building and the car park.

Justin Dampney of Eco Sustainable Solutions said the proposals would increase the company’s profitability

existing economic, social and environmental benefits.

Mr Dampney said there was a “clear need” for a solution to the 35% of waste that is not recycled locally.

“There is no facility like the one we offer locally,” Mr. Dampney said.

‘Currently, these leftover local wastes are being loaded onto HGVs, accumulating hundreds of thousands of miles of avoidable extra waste, sending it to London, Bristol, or even worse, buried in landfills outside the county.’

Mr Dampney said it had taken seven years to bring the project to its current stage and BCP Council and Dorset Council had identified the need for a facility such as the one proposed.

Commons ward councilor Vanessa Ricketts said ‘it is clear that the supposed advantages do not equal the disadvantages’, meaning the request must be refused.

Planning committee member Cllr Ann Stribley said: “I don’t like it, I wish we didn’t have to deal with it, but we live in a society, we produce waste, we have to to face.”

She added: “I understand the objections and concerns but I see no planning reason for the refusal.”

Cllr Lesley Dedman, who voted against the bid, said: “I think the impact of this project on the surrounding area is very high.”

Committee vice-chairman Cllr Johnson, who supported the decision to grant the proposal, said: ‘We don’t particularly want these sites in the greenbelt, but given that this one is there, it has been there since For a long time, I think it’s far better to have this site scaled up a bit and made more efficient than having to create an entirely new site somewhere else.

Eco Sustainable Solutions must obtain a permit from the Environment Agency for installation, which is a separate process from the planning application approved by the committee.

The planning application itself is subject to the approval of the Secretary of State.

Comments are closed.