A PROPOSAL to transform an open countryside site into a waste transfer centre for a demolition firm could harm the rural area’s character and increase the chance of accidents on the A19, it has been claimed.

Riley Plant Hire Ltd has applied to North Yorkshire County Council for the change of use of land and buildings at Munford’s Haulage Yard, at Cross Lanes, Tollerton, near Easingwold.

The firm said it hopes to take up to 3,000 tonnes of waste materials a year to the site on skip wagons, meaning about ten 20-tonne HGV movements a day.

In documents submitted to planners the firm said the wastes would be sorted inside an agricultural building, it would run for ten hours a day during the week, for five hours on Saturdays and the primary use of the site would “remain as a haulage yard”.

The firm said a “controlled environment would prevent fugitive dust emissions” and as the types of material to be accepted at the site would not include biodegradable wastes, the likelihood of smells from the site was limited.

The documents state: “The application envisages the development of a facility remote from any sensitive receptors and, whilst located in an open countryside location, the character of the site lends itself to the establishment of a facility such as this.”

However, in a response over the application, Tollerton Parish Council said the firm’s application had failed to highlight that there were several properties and businesses in the immediate area, including two fishing ponds, and several homes.

The parish said the planned site was off a narrow lane and the nearby junction onto the A19 was a high risk area as traffic passed at high speed and HGV movements across this area would “potentially increase the risk of accidents”.

The parish council’s objection stated: “The waste listed that will be sorted within the facility is not representative of what is currently removed from construction sites by the applicant. Generally, waste skips that leave construction projects contain plasterboard, waste hazardous materials such as paint, cement, gypsum, chemicals used in the dosing of heating systems etc.”

Hambleton District Council planning enforcement officers said while the planning application had claimed the existing use of the site was a haulage yard for up to 50 HGVs and 51 trailers, they were aware that in 2016 the Vehicle Operators Licence to run and park these vehicles from the site ceased and all other licences associated from the site were revoked.

They stated: “Therefore with the potential of two uses and the existing barns being used for agricultural purposes with the storage of hay, the local planning authority has concerns with the intensification of the use of the site, with a haulage business, waste transfer site and agricultural use all operating from the same site.

“Furthermore, the council considers that the running of a waste transfer site from an existing agricultural building not in accordance with the council’s Local Plan policies, these type of uses are more associated within industrial estates and could potentially cause harm on the character of the countryside. “