Impasse over waste site Sundays

Lancashire Waste Recycling and (below) Coun Andrea Kay
Lancashire Waste Recycling and (below) Coun Andrea Kay

A councillor says she hopes a four-point plan will allay concerns over proposals to extend the hours of a Thornton waste processing plant.

The application by Lancashire Waste Recycling has sparked 94 objections amid fears it will increase noise and traffic, as well as adding to problems with a mysterious odour in the area.

Some believe the smell is coming from the site at Burn Hall on Venture Road, which converts landfill waste into fuel used to power manufacturing plants.

The waste firm wants to extend its current hours of 8am-6pm Monday-Friday, as well as operating on a Sunday for the first time between 10am and 3pm. Saturday hours would remain 8am-1pm.

It also wants to use its machinery with the doors open to allow trucks in and out more easily, and to allow the use of waste with low level food contamination - like the remains of a sauce on packaging.

County Coun Andrea Kay said she had come up with the four conditions based upon residents’ concerns.

And Lancashire Waste Recycling says it has agreed to three of them in full.

These include all wagons using the site sticking to a designated route avoiding Fleetwood Road, and sensors being used to open and close the plant doors to ensure they are not open for longer than necessary.

The firm has also agreed to join Lancashire County Council’s odour assessor scheme, known locally as The Nose, under which all reported smells are independently investigated.

It says it is also seeking retrospective permission for improvements it has already made to its odour control system.

Under the fourth condition County Coun Kay is calling for the company to drop its plans to operate on Sundays - and that could yet be a sticking point.

Bosses have not agreed to that, but have stressed they are only applying for vehicles to be able to leave the site on Sundays, not processing.

County Coun Kay said: “When people have worked all week they should be able to relax in their home.

“Sundays should be peaceful and I would not want any vehicle movements.”

She added that she had arranged a meeting with the company, the Thornton Action Group and the Pheasants Wood Residents Association on Friday March 6 - and wants it to be followed by a public meeting at which residents will be able to ask questions.

“I hope we can get the company’s commitments in writing at the meeting and get an agreement on Sundays,” she said.

“I do not want a business which supports 30 jobs to close but I also think residents should be able to sit in their gardens and put their washing out.

“I’m prepared to support the proposals if residents are protected.”

Lancashire Waste Recycling says it is applying for permission to operate for an extra hour in the morning and evening to cut traffic congestion - but will not increase the amount of work it does.

Its operations director, Jim Entwisle, saidL “We do want to be good neighbours.

“We are continuing to improve our standards, refine our processes and the operation to minimise our impact on the area.”