Waste firm answers concerns over Lower Compton site

This Is Wiltshire: Hills boss Mike Webster was on hand to answer concerns Hills boss Mike Webster was on hand to answer concerns

Around 45 people attended a public exhibition held on Tuesday by Hills Waste after it announced it would scale back plans to extend its materials recovery facility at Lower Compton.

Representatives from Hills, including group director Mike Webster, were on hand to answer concerns over noise, traffic, and pollution.

They were keen to emphasise that the MRF facility, used to sort household waste and collect recycled waste, will only deal with Wiltshire’s recycled waste.

Plans to build a commercial and industrial waste treatment facility, which would have seen waste coming from outside the county, have now been scrapped.

Mr Webster said the new plans would amount to 49 extra vehicle movements in and out of the site per day.

He said although he sympathised with residents he had also been surprised by some of the criticism received following the company’s original application in 2011.

He said: “Wherever possible we do try to send lorries so that they don’t go through Calne.

“I’m quite surprised really because it’s an essential part of any infrastructure that you have facilities like this. If you collect recycling you need somewhere to process it.

“The problem is that you don’t want these sites near the main road, you want it where the houses are because waste needs to be local to the population.

“That reduces the amount of distance the lorries have to travel.”

The MRF at Lower Compton received more than 27,000 tonnes of Wiltshire’s recycling waste in the last financial year.

The extension will provide the capacity to sort up to 55,000 tonnes of waste.

This extra tonnage will be made up of paper and cardboard currently sorted at Hill’s Porte Marsh site, which is due to close in 2017.

Hill is also hoping to sort additional recycling materials.

At the moment the site deals with plastic bottles, card, cans and textiles, but the new plan would allow it to deal with plastic pots and tubs, trays and glass.

Pete Szczesiak, chairman of Compton Bassett Parish Council, said the councillors would respond to the new planning application at the next council meeting.

He said: “We’re still not too sure about the amount they are going to be bringing in, it seems quite a lot more than what it is at the moment.

“So many different planning applications have been in over the years, we don’t know what’s happening to be honest.

“Whether it’s the right way to go I don’t know.”

Richard Aylen, parish councillor for Calne Without, said: “The basic issue is whether we want anything there at all.

“I’m pretty sure most people in this area don’t want these heavy lorries going in and out, it hasn’t altered anything really.

“The tonnage has obviously come down, but at the end of the say it’s still a lot of lorries.”

The planning consultation ends on July 11.

For more information visit www.hills-group.co.uk/lowercompton.

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