Approved subject to conditions set out in the report.
Consideration was given to the report detailing the planning applications which had been previously circulated.
That, subject to the variations set out below, the advice set out in the reports now submitted be agreed.
20/00074/WASFUL - Proposed extension to the existing waste recycling building (retrospective application) - Mick George Limited Waste Transfer Station, Lower Ecton Lane, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN3 5HQ
The Minerals and Waste Development Control Manager outlined the application for an extension to the existing waste recycling building. The site had been in operation since 2015 and the current application did not change the principle of the original permission. Housing the recycling in a building would enable the process to be carried out in a more efficient manner and more materials to be recycled. Objections had been received from the Ecton Lane Park and the impact of the site on their amenity. Mick George Limited had undertaken dust and noise monitoring as part of the application process and the Environment Agency and Environmental Health had analysed the results and had not raised any objections as a consequence.
Mrs Hatfield spoke against the application; the Chair read out a statement from Councillor Danielle Stone, who was unable to attend the meeting and objected to the application and Mr Gough, the applicant, addressed the Committee.
In response to questions from Members, Mrs Hatfield raised concerns that the activity on the site had increased over the last few years and that the dust was causing health issues for people that lived at Ecton Lane Park. Residents at Cogenhoe had also raised concerns. Residents at Ecton Lane Park had commenced a dialogue with Mick George Limited and in December and they had been provided with a 24 hour contact telephone number. People could feel the dust in their throats and could physically see it. Mrs Hatfield did not consider that the dust problem had improved since the extension had been built and it was sometimes worse.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Gough advised that the site was to the west and the prevailing wind was from the southwest; there were water sprayers and water carts on site and a dust sweeper out on the road when required. The Frisbee dust deposit gauges were monitored every 2-4 weeks; regular monitoring was required as part of the Environment Agency permit. There was a civic amenity facility adjacent to the site. The extension had been built in 2021, unfortunately without planning permission, which had been as a result of a miscommunication during the pandemic. With regard to potential future growth of the site there was no other land to extend into; however, some operations on the site were not taking place yet. Further to a suggestion, Mr Gough advised that the company had set up a charitable trust fund and he would refer the concerns raised to the management.
The Minerals and Waste Development Control Manager advised that there would be no change in the principle of the permission for the site as a result of this application. The building would in fact provide more shielding to the operation and therefore reduce dust. The Environment Agency were responsible for pollution control and if residents reported their concerns they would investigate.
Councillor David James highlighted that the dust monitors had recorded levels of dust that were a quarter of the actionable level. The building sheltered the site from the prevailing wind and the noisy, dusty adjacent road. The site was established and provided an essential process. The extension would make this process more efficient and would result in less waste being sent to landfill. Councillor James proposed that the application be approved, this was seconded by Councillor James Hill.
Councillor Charles Manners considered that the roads should be swept more frequently. The Minerals and Waste Development Control Manager advised that the requirement for road sweeping was covered in the Dust Action Plan; it was also the responsibility of the regulatory bodies to control pollution.
Further to an enquiry, it was noted that the Waste and Minerals Policy allowed for local liaison groups to be established where appropriate, currently there was no specific group for this site. However, there was a liaison group for Anglian Water Sewage Works which included the Mick George recycling site operations and the residents of Ecton Lane Park had been invited to those meetings.
The proposition to approve the application was put to the meeting and declared carried with 10 voting in favour and 1 abstention.
That planning permission is granted subject to the conditions set out in the report.