A member of the public said she was ‘mortified’ after plans to add an inert waste recycling building to a waste management site in Yapton were approved.
The site, in Burndell Road, is used to sort through some 25,000 tonnes of skip, demolition and construction waste per year, such as concrete, bricks, wood and metal.
The new building will allow Envirowaste (Southern) Ltd to screen and crush up to 50,000 tonnes per year, the majority of which would be brought to the site via six HGV deliveries per day.
Members of West Sussex County Council’s planning committee listened to a number of objections to the application on Tuesday (July 9), including concerns about noise and fears for the health of nearby residents.
Among the objectors was Arun district councillor Amanda Worne (Lib Dem, Yapton).
Referring to the site as a ‘concrete crushing plant’, she pointed out that there were houses only 95m away which could be affected by dust.
Telling members that she knew of a little boy with asthma who played in one of the gardens, she added: “As local authority bodies we, under the Human Rights Act, have an obligation by law to protect people’s lives – and I feel that we are not doing this justice if we are actually exposing people’s lives in the area to dust particles that we cannot guarantee will not spread.”
County councillor Jacky Pendleton said she had ‘severe concerns’ about the application, and listed the consequences of long-term exposure to the silica contained in concrete dust.
She added: “There’s a risk here – a large risk – that some of these emissions, particularly the dust emissions, will have an adverse effect on the public.”
Planning officers acknowledged that they could ‘aim to prevent it but we can’t entirely stop it’.
A report to the committee said dust would be controlled by ensuring that all crushing took place inside the new building, that all doors were closed during the process, and that a dust suppression system would be installed.
Envirowaste also used to operate an inert waste management facility out of the Portfield Quarry, in Chichester, which has since been redeveloped.
Officers told the meeting that this new site was needed to plug that gap.
Members agreed with officers that the application should be approved, adding the condition that no materials should be stored outside of the building.
The application was approved by seven votes to four, prompting one member of the public to declare: “I’m quite mortified that something so ridiculous has been passed by highly intelligent people.”