RESIDENTS have objected to plans to create a large waste facility on the outskirts of their village, claiming it could lead to noise pollution, traffic problems and unsavoury smells.
Waste management specialists Veolia ES is seeking permission for a waste transfer station (WTS) on the outskirts of Bishop Middleham, near Sedgefield.
The site, close to A177 at Garmondsway, has been used as a waste vehicle and maintenance depot since the mid 1970s and employs 25 people.
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If approved, the 1,600 square metre facility would shred and bulk up to 50,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste per year, creating a further five full time jobs.
Waste processing would take place between 7am and 7pm seven-days-a-week and waste deliveries and exports would continue until 10pm to avoid traffic congestion.
Limited exports may take place outside of these hours, but would be limited to one per hour.
The Highways Authority has not raised any objections to the scheme, which is envisaged to create an extra 48 vehicle movements per day.
Some residents, however, fear the facility will have a damaging impact on their lives.
Planning consultant Jon Tweddle, acting on behalf of a couple from Bishop Middleham, said: “My client would like to lodge their strong objections to the above planning application on the grounds that the activities from the site would significantly affect their general amenity and enjoyment of their house and gardens.
“It is considered that the proposals will generate an unacceptable level of noise, dust, odours and traffic movements.”
Nearby resident Diane Davis also raised concerns about increased traffic on the A177.
Durham County Council planning officer Chris Shields has recommended councillors approve the scheme subject to conditions at the county planning committee meeting at County Hall in Durham City on Tuesday, January 7.
He cited the site’s history as a waste management facility and the fact it is safe-guarded for waste development in the County Durham Waste Local Plan and the emerging County Durham Plan.
His report highlighted how commercial and industrial waste is less likely to smell than household rubbish and that a noise assessment had predicted noise at the nearest property would be below background level.
Within the application, Veolia confirmed it had received no complaints over previous early morning activities carried out on the site, adding: “Veolia will continue to operate the site to the high standards expected and will remain good neighbours.”