Villagers hit out at waste plant plans

NDET 4-9-12 RKH 7 Norma Dolby from Arkwright against plans for the new waste plant.
NDET 4-9-12 RKH 7 Norma Dolby from Arkwright against plans for the new waste plant.

Residents of a village which has been blighted by decades of environmental problems have blasted plans for a new composting plant just opposite them.

Villagers from Arkwright Town are rallying against SITA UK’s bid to build the controversial facility on a former pit site off Deepsick Lane.

The whole village had to be demolished and rebuilt on the other side of the road after officials detected colliery gasses underneath homes in the late 1980s.

Hundreds of families were caught up in a state of emergency and forced to move to the newly-built Arkwright Town.

Villager Norma Dolby, who was involved in the “horrific” relocation in the mid-1990s, criticised the plans for the waste plant, which would handle up to 40,000 tonnes of garden and kitchen rubbish and cardboard collected from homes across Derbyshire.

Mrs Dolby said: “After all we’ve been through it’s just not fair - I don’t know one villager who’s in favour of this facility.

“The move was absolutely horrific and now this - we’ll have to put up with more smells and more traffic.

“Why can’t it be built on a brownfield site and why can’t we have a much-deserved recreational area?”

Andrew Ives, regional manager at SITA UK, said: “We do understand that some people have concerns when a new development is planned in their area.

“We would, however, like to assure residents that we will operate the composting facility to the highest standards using modern technology.

“The composting process will take place within an enclosed facility and air from inside the buildings will be cleaned by filters before it is released to ensure that any potentially offensive smells are eliminated.

“We have also looked extensively at traffic and we can reassure residents that the number of vehicles going to and from this facility will not have a noticeable impact on local roads.”

He added: “SITA UK always works hard to be a good neighbour and we hope to forge close links with nearby residents as we develop and then operate this vital new facility”

Last year villagers failed in their High Court bid to scrap the plans.

Derbyshire County Council has granted planning permission for the plant but before it can operate it needs an Environment Agency permit.

Agency staff met with residents on Friday to help them make their decision.

To comment on the proposals, email psc@environment-agency by Thursday, September 20.