A composting facility in Wyre will be allowed to operate longer at the weekend, after councillors heard that household recycling centres in the borough - and neighbouring Fylde - were having to ship green waste to East Lancashire on Saturdays and Sundays.
The facility - at Iron House Farm in Out Rawcliffe - is currently permitted to accept material only until midday at the weekend and on public holidays. But Lancashire County Council’s development control committee has now given the go-ahead for it to take in waste until 5pm.
The actual processing of the material, which also takes place at the site, will remain limited to the current hours of operation. The times during which the finished product can be moved off the site, five miles east of Fleetwood, will also be unaltered.
Papers presented to the committee revealed that the recycling centres are usually at their busiest of a weekend and sometimes have insufficient space to store skips of green waste if they become full.
The current arrangements to transport them from one side of the county to the other “were not as sustainable” as they could be, councillors were told.
The revised permission will create up to four additional HGV vehicle movements on both Saturdays and Sundays.
But while several committee members spoke in favour of the application, County Cllr Paul Hayhurst, an Independent, said the rural location should not be subjected to an increase in traffic.
“I know this area well and the roads are used by cyclists, horseriders and other leisure pursuits - on Saturdays and Sundays in particular.
“There was a lot of debate about whether [the site] was appropriate when it first came before this committee - and it was touch and go.
“We seem to be giving planning permission by stealth - we permit [applications] on the basis the effect will be minimised and then [the applicant] comes back for more and more,” County Cllr Hayhurst said.
The planning department’s report to the committee noted the low classification of roads in the area, but concluded that they “are of a reasonable standard and width and can accommodate the relatively small number of additional HGV movements that would result from the proposal”.
The 1.6 hectare site has been generating compost for farms since 2010.