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Residents lay waste to composting plan
RESIDENTS in Purton are bucking at plans to double the capacity of a nearby composting site over fears of a destructive increase in traffic.
Hills Waste Solutions have applied to increase its capacity to more than 50,000 tonnes, prompting concerns access roads will be unable to cope with the pressure of heavy goods vehicles.
The application has been brought in on appeal by Wiltshire councillor Jacqui Lay, who thinks objections need to be addressed.
“There have been a number of residents who have expressed concerns to me about the number of vehicles that are coming in through Purton via Cricklade,” she said.
“I am not entirely happy about the increase in volume or making the access route permanent. My personal feeling is that when it comes to composting, green waste should be dealt with locally. It isn’t a product that needs to be travelled across the county to be composted.”
Coun Lay added that the road from Cricklade to Purton is due to close in January as a result of damage from HGVs.
“I have got a lot of time for Hills, and they are very supportive of the community,” she said “It is very unfortunate they will have to go to appeal.”
Dr Richard Pagett, of Purton, said the application was one step too far.
“Each time these applications come with a certain number of allowable HGV movements,” he said.
“When they are not fully realised, they are passed on to other applications, and there is a real problem with that.
“There needs to be proper scrutiny of this application. The approvals in the past were too generous, and local residents think there is enough traffic. They have caused a lot of damage.
“It will not be local traffic. This is gathering compost from a large area of Wiltshire, and that goes against the carbon reduction commitment as it is increasing emissions.
“This is a dilemma for Hills. Their landfill site was supposed to be closed a decade ago, but they then had an extra area approved so they have had to bring in landfill from Plymouth and South Wales to fill that gap. They expanded without realising what the local economic conditions were.
“The inspector in the latest public inquiry into waste allocation recognised this is not a strategic site. It is poorly serviced by roads and in the wrong place.”
Ray Thomas, chairman of Purton Parish Council, said: “We as a council did not object to it, but because of a number of concerns it has now gone to appeal.
“If you look at previous applications such as Moulden View and Ridgeway Farm, both went to non-determination and went to appeal. It worries and confuses me that so many applications seem to go to non-determination these days.
“We do not like HGVs going through the village, and we have a 7.5 tonne limit in place for that reason.”
A spokesman for Hills Waste Solutions said: “The composting activities at Parkgate Farm have not demonstrated any significant impacts on the environment or on local residents. Increasing the amount of material permitted to be managed at the site is one which can easily be absorbed within the current infrastructure.
“Although there will be a small increase in vehicles associated with bringing more of the county’s green waste to the site, this is offset by the reduction in HGVs associated with the other activities which use the public highway to access Mopes Lane and Hills’ other activities.”
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