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Amersham waste transfer station plan thrown out
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a new waste transfer station in Amersham have been scrapped by Buckinghamshire County Council this morning.
The unanimous decision to reject the proposal was made at a meeting of the council’s Development Control Committee, after nearly 250 objections from residents and campaigners.
One member of the public, a Mr Jones, said at today's meeting developer FCC Environment had "misinformed residents" and had sought to "bully through" the application.
The plan would have seen the waste transfer station built along the A413, near the Cokes Lane junction between Amersham and Chalfont St Giles.
Committee members felt the proposal had not demonstrated it overcame the special circumstances needed for building within the Green Belt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The proposed site.
The projected traffic increase onto an already busy road was cited as another key reason for refusal.
Amersham town councillor Davida Allen said the proposals would form a "vast utalitarian building" and would be an "encroachment onto previous undeveloped land".
She said: "There are over 80 properties in close proximity. The impact will be so severe the properties will be blighted."
An 'extensive search' of the High Wycombe, Beaconsfield and Amersham area concluded an expansion of an existing depot was the only available option.
But Cllr Allen said the site shouldn't have been considered, and took a swipe at county council street lighting policy after stating 67 new lights would need to be provided to illuminate the
She said: "Sixty seven lights are proposed for constant use in the AONB - an area where residents are obliged to grope about in darkness since Bucks County Council switched off the lights."
Members of the planning committee agreed with the objections, unanimously backing their officers' recommendation to refuse the proposals.
Cllr Trevor Egleton said: "I don't think there's a minimal impact [on residents]. I think traffic will increase and will provide traffic problems getting in and out of that site, on a very fast
stretch of road.
"It will be visible through gaps in the trees - when winter comes it will be much, much more visible
"I was really surprised at the amount of green area we would be covering with concrete. I'm concerned about the scale and the impact, particularly when you view it on the ground."
Cllr Dev Dhillon added turning right out of the depot was "a bit of a challenge" and said the site was "not big enough".
Dan Murphy of FCC Enviroment, the company behind the development, said the facility would save Chiltern District Council £300,000 a year.
He added the Highways and Environment Agencies had raised no objections to the plans and the number of complaints from residents represented one per cent of the entire population of the Chiltern
district - which he said "doesn't constitute widespread concern".
But his words were not enough to persuade councillors to change their minds, as they turned down the plans after nearly an hour of discussions.
Had the scheme been approved rubbish would have been 'bulked' at the site before lorries took it to an incinerator in the north of the county, where it would have been burned to create
Plans for a similar facility at High Heavens in Booker were agreed earlier this year.
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