Sixteen jobs could be lost and a recycling company forced to shut down if controversial plans to demolish parts of a “shanty town” industrial estate go ahead.

A number of industrial units at Binders Yard in Cryers Hill Road, Cryers Hill, could be bulldozed and replaced with four new buildings – but one business based there, Wycombe Recycling Ltd, fears they could be forced to shut down if this goes ahead.

The company – classed as a critical employer during the pandemic because of their work with the NHS - says the plans will “destroy” their 16-year-old family business and could result in a huge increase in fly-tipping in the area.

If given the go-ahead, Wycombe Recycling’s current home will be demolished and replaced with a single building that will be split up into four units, each with its own yard space at the front and back, and 22 parking spaces in total.

The plans have been submitted to Buckinghamshire Council for approval, even though land relating to waste is protected in the council’s Waste and Minerals Local Plan 2019.

One of the affected waste businesses on the site, Putnam Waste Management, is reported to be moving away from the site, but two others – including Wycombe Recycling – remain.

A report submitted by the applicant says the waste management companies need cranes and diggers “that can be seen clearly from the AONB”, adding that the waste transfer station on site is “a messy and visually disruptive use in very close proximity to the boundary with the AONB and Green Belt”.

They added that skip hire and recycling businesses on the site generate 140 HGV movements a day – and them no longer being there will “greatly improve noise and disturbance” for other industrial site businesses and nearby residents.

However, Wycombe Recycling has said that a suitable alternative site has not been found for them, despite three years of looking, adding that they are “successful, responsible and compliant” with all the rules.

Describing the current site as a “shanty town”, Wycombe Recycling says it has come up with an alternative plan which would combine three waste management sites into one on the industrial estate, save jobs and create new ones.

And supporters of Wycombe Recycling have flooded Buckinghamshire Council with objections to the site owners’ plans.

Robin Lomas, from Hughenden Valley, said: “At a time when we are all trying to recycle more, it is nonsensical to even consider losing what I believe is the only recycling facility of this type in the district.”

Alison Kelly, who works at Wycombe Recycling, said 16 people would all be made redundant if these plans go ahead.

She said: “At a time where many are losing their jobs and businesses as a result of Covid-19, surely the council should be doing everything in their power to stem redundancies and job losses?”

Jon Brooks, from Long Crendon, added that Bucks and the UK need recycling plants to hit green targets, adding: “Keeping people employed should be a priority in favour of empty commercial space.

“There is already so much commercial space available with much more coming in the near and medium term.”

There have been some comments in support of the plans, with one Great Kingshill resident saying: “Whilst I appreciate that recycling companies and skips are needed, I feel they would be better placed in a larger industrial estate instead of this small estate bang in the middle of two small villages.”

The site owners say they regret allowing waste companies to the site, adding: “Whilst the overriding principles of recycling and minimising landfill are, of course, very worthy objectives, the implementation of waste transfer stations, specifically in Binders Estate is - now that we have the benefit of hindsight - simply inappropriate.”

But Wycombe Recycling says there have been waste companies on the industrial estate for nearly 50 years.

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