Concerns over waste plant plans

CONCERNS have been raised about plans to build a waste transfer station on a Gainsborough industrial estate, which could see more than 30 bin lorries a day dumping rubbish at the site.

Lincolnshire County Council wants to build the waste storage facility on land off Marshall Way, Somerby Park, near Heapham Road Industrial Estate.

It would be used to temporarily store waste from bin lorries and household waste recycling centres, before being transported in bulk by larger vehicles to an ‘energy from waste’ plant being built in Lincoln.

Three other such plants are planned for Grantham, Sleaford and Boston. And one is already operating in Louth.

But residents living nearby say the facility would be too close, and are worried about potential odours that could drift towards where they live.

“It’s bound to smell in the summer. It’s a bit close for my liking,” said Tom Sewell, of Elsham Walk, Gainsborough, who said he hadn’t heard about the plans until this week.

The nearest homes to the proposed site are between 200-300 metres away on Pasture Road and Newton Close on the edge of the Park Springs estate.

Charles Baines Community Primary School and Whites Wood Lane Community Junior School would also be within half a mile of the plant.

Lincolnshire County Council says in its planning report that the impact of any odour emissions from the plant would be minimised by keeping doors closed and using an ‘odour misting system’ inside.

It also said noise would be absorbed from within the building.

But Newton Close resident Linda Withers said she is not convinced.

“If they could absolutely guarantee there would be no smell then I would be in favour,” she said.

“But we already get bad smells drifting over from the chicken factory on Corringham Road and that’s bad enough, without having something like this on the other side.”

“I know they have got to build it somewhere but we don’t want it here.”

Alan Tinker, of Elsham Walk said: “They might well say there will be no smell, but I used to work on the bins so I know what they are like.”

“Everyone knows when a bin lorry drives past it smells.”

Mrs Tinker added: “I suppose the council will have put notices in the paper but it would have been nice if the closest residents were notified about these plans.”

Charles Baines Community Primary School and Whites Wood Lane Community Junior School would also be within half a mile of the plant.

Lincolnshire County Council did consult four businesses on Heapham Road Industrial Estate, which are the site’s closest neighbours.

A planning committee at West Lindsey District Council was due to discuss the report on Wednesday 8th March, a county council decision is expected at its 13th February planning meeting.

No major objections have yet been received from other consultees including the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Gainsborough Town Council and the county council’s highways department.

But one resident wrote to the council to express concerns about increased HGV traffic on Foxby Lane, suggesting that a traffic order could be made to limit such traffic to Thorndyke Way.

Operating hours at the facility would be 8am - 4pm Monday to Friday, with the flexibility to open outside these hours.

It is predicted that 23 lorries a day could come and go from the plant by 2013/14. This figure could rise to 31 by 2037/38.The maximum amount of waste stored on site at any time would be 150 tonnes, with the plant processing up to 45,300 tonnes a year.

Lincolnshire County Council said the waste transfer station would reduce current vehicle movements, bring down the cost of transporting waste long distances, while improving recycling and the creation of energy from waste materials.