TEMPERS flared last night as residents voiced concerns at plans to create a food waste recycling plant in their community.

AWSM Farming, in the Teesdale village of Hutton Magna, has submitted a planning application to build the plant – for blending fertiliser – at its site between Barnard Castle, County Durham, and Richmond, North Yorkshire.

The business already offers farm waste disposal and collection services and other farm contracting work.

Environmental manager Louis Smith met residents at Hutton Magna village hall last night to explain the proposals.

But despite promising to look into their concerns and claims of irregularities in the planning document, residents were left unimpressed by what they heard.

They raised a range of issues, including pollution, air quality, access to the site, smells and potential leakage.

Resident Mark Henderson said despite promises that it would not happen, he believed the company would apply to sell the product within 12 months.

“We all know what conditions can be varied,” he said. “The figures just don’t add up.”

Another resident, Martin Walker, said: “I am just concerned that what already exists on the site should be brought up to a better standard. Many of the things that have happened (at the site) have been unprofessional, and looking forward, we want things to be better.”

Chairman of the meeting Bill Brophy told the company: “People have genuine concerns about the quality of life. We are not just nit-picking.”

Company boss Adam Metcalfe invited residents to visit the site to see the work taking place if the application is given the go-ahead.

“We are proud of what we do and we will go away and look at everything that has been raised,”

he said.

“We are trying to improve what we do.”