Controversial Melton Waste Park expansion plans 'too complex' to make decision on

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 25 Jan 2019

Hugely controversial expansion plans for an East Yorkshire waste plant are “too complex” to rule on, without first seeing similar plants in operation, councillors have agreed.

They have delayed making a decision on Melton Waste Park expansion plans so they can visit comparable plants, to help them make up their minds.

More than 1,000 objections have been levelled against three proposals to expand operations at the Gibson Lane plant, with residents fearing extra noise, smell and traffic.

Transwaste wants to expand the site into a 24-hour waste processing facility, with a standby gas generator unit.

Objectors are worried about increased traffic from the Melton plant

Meanwhile, Melton Energy Tech has put in plans for a new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

Ward Councillor Julie Abraham told East Riding Council’s planning committee an environmental impact assessment is being sought so it was premature for the expansion plans to be considered.

She warned councillors: “We all remember the legacy of Capper Pass which spread its noxious and life limiting emissions to Cottingham, Anlaby and Hessle and possibly beyond.

“Let us not repeat the mistakes of a less well-informed past.”

Cllr Abraham said the applications would allow the processing of 750,000 tonnes of waste per year.

She said: “East Ridings residual waste, green bin waste last year was 50,000 tonnes. So where is this waste coming from.”

East Riding ward Councillor Julie Abraham

People live less than 80 metres from the site of the proposed standby gas generation unit.

Cllr Abraham said: “Would I want to live 80 metres away from 20 gas engines that could fire up at any time of the day or night and run for an undetermined length of time and for 2,000 hours a year?

“That may not sound much but it is 5.5 hours in a 24 hour period. Or it could be for a whole 24 hours every four days.

“No, I would not want to live under such circumstances.”

She said there is also a Gospel Hall next to the proposed site.

“It is the very unpredictable nature of the need for these engines that makes it such a bad neighbour for a Gospel Hall that meets daily for worship, has 500 worshippers once a week and which frequently has up to 1,000 worshippers for special occasions,” she said.

North Ferriby resident Andrew Blackburn told the meeting at Beverley's County Hall that villagers fear increased noise and smells from the site.

Objectors packed the planning committee meeting at Beverley's County Hall

Mr Blackburn told the committee: “We currently experience problems with smells and noise, which are adversely affecting local residents and businesses, as well as the residents of Melton and North Ferriby, all of which have been experiencing an exponential increase of problems.

“The increase in activity that will be facilitated by these applications, and particularly the move to 24-hour working, will exacerbate problems with noise and smells still further.”

George Cooke, general manager at Transwaste, told councillors the current operating hours are unreasonable and restrictive.

He also said a 24-hour operation would create 20 new jobs.

Transwaste’s planning consultant Dan Grierson assured the committee the AD plant would have sealed digesters, preventing emissions.

He said the processes would be “virtually silent” and vehicle movements would decrease as material would be processed on site.

Councillor Bryan Pearson told East Riding Council’s planning committee: “I would suggest to this meeting that it’s too complex and difficult to make a decision today.

“I would suggest the planning officers search out not one, not two, but if necessary three to four plants that are similar to what we are looking at – what possibly this will become, an all-singing and dancing plant, producing gas and dealing with waste.

 “We can then better make our up our minds.”

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