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Campaigners 'horrified' at revival of green belt waste plan
Residents fear further problems with traffic and are concerned about HGV vehicles travelling along the route
CAMPAIGNERS who thought they had defeated a proposed waste transfer station on green belt land have been 'horrified' to discover the plan is back from the dead.
A second proposal has been tabled by South Bucks District Council to make Dropmore Road Depot in Burnham a waste transfer site – despite its own planning committee rejecting the first one.
The site would be used as the base for waste and recycling collection services vehicles and staff.
About 150 people or organisations, including Burnham Parish Council and a nearby school, protested against the original plan.
The council and partners Biffa have stated that the site is the only one suitable to replace the current depot and transfer station at London Road, Amersham, which it must leave next year.
Leading campaigner Carroll Bolden, of Chalk Pit Lane, Burnham, said: “We canvassed people in Burnham and found that everyone that we spoke to believed that as the planning committee had rejected the application that was it.
“They were on the whole horrified that the system allowed for a council to apply to itself to build something so controversial which has already been rejected once.”
Residents have also slammed the fact that, in the application, the council and consultants have cited new Government guidelines on planning.
The new policy, headed by Eric Pickles the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, encourages councils to make best use of previously developed green belt whilst protecting its openness.
Annoyed campaigners say this is designed to enable housing and infrastructure projects to go ahead to aid economic growth – not for projects like a waste transfer station.
The current site consists of storage buildings and a car repair workshop and has been used as a transfer depot for 60 years.
But council consultants Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners said of this part of the Government's policy is “particularly pertinent” and supports the application.
Campaigners' concerns centre around the extra heavy vehicles travelling along tight lanes and the potential danger it might pose for nearby Dropmore Infant School, as well as extra noise.
Andy Owen, senior planner at Biffa, at the previous public meeting pointed out there is already planning permission on the site for a depot and there were no restrictions on HGV along the road.
The HGV issue and noise pollution were two of the reasons put forward by the council's planning committee for rejection.
Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners said significant changes have been made to reduce noise from recycling and also to improve the visual appearance of the site. There will be fewer HGV movements than the approved and existing use, while the site footprint has been moved further away from the nearest neighbour.
Residents have until October 15 to lodge objections via the council's website. Search using reference 12/01507/FUL