Proposals to extend weekend opening hours at a rubbish tip in Eastbourne have been refused by county council planners as they would have ‘imposed intolerable pressure upon neighbours’.
The proposals – for the Eastbourne Household Waste and Recycling Site (HWRS) in St Philip’s Avenue – were refused at a meeting of East Sussex County Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (October 10).
The application had been put forward by Veolia, a private company which runs the waste site on behalf of the same council.
It would have allowed the site to be open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons as well as bank holidays.
While the council supported the application as a waste authority, committee members heard how planning officers had recommended the application be refused as the benefits ‘would be far outweighed’ by the impact on nearby residential properties.
Before making a decision the committee heard from ward councillor David Tutt (Lib Dem. – Eastbourne: St Anthony’s), who spoke out against the scheme.
‘SITE HAS OUTGROWN ITS PURPOSE’
Cllr Tutt said: “The report mentions how this is predominantly a residential area. I would actually go further and say that, with the exception of the electricity substation and this site, it is exclusively a residential area.
“Its history goes back many years and I have asked the county council on many occasions to try and find an alternative location for this. It is a site that has actually outgrown its purpose.
“Whilst undoubtedly extended hours would be to the benefit of many people who have waste that they wish to get rid of at weekends and bank holidays, I do not believe it is right to impose intolerable pressure upon neighbours of the site.”
He added that he was party to talks which could potentially see an alternative waste site found within the town. Cllr Tutt said the talks are at an early stage, but said they could prove to be ‘cost neutral’ to the council.
Following Cllr Tutt’s comments, committee chairman Claire Dowling (Con. – Uckfield North) warned members to only consider the details of the application ‘not the possible relocation of a site, which may or may not happen.’
TRAFFIC IMPACT DISCUSSED
During the following discussion, Cllr Barry Taylor (Con. – Eastbourne: Meads) said he supported the recommendation for refusal but highlighted previous problems with queuing traffic on the site.
He said: “Would it in some ways be beneficial to local residents who live along that road if the number of cars going there was diffused over the whole day?
“According to the photographs we have just been shown, there are very few cars there at all. If that is the case, then I think it is quite right to go along with officer’s recommendations and refuse this.
“But I do understand that perhaps on a Saturday or Sunday morning, there may be huge pressure on that site.”
PLANS ‘CLEAR CUT’
Cllr Kathryn Field (Lib Dem. – Battle and Crowhurst), also commented on the plans saying the application was ‘clear cut’.
She said: “[The area] is extremely residential. I know, having driven past it for many years, that queuing isn’t a problem any more compared to how it used to be.”
Following a short discussion the committee unanimously refused the application.
Cllr Tom Liddiard (Con. Pevensey and Stone Cross) did not take part in debate or vote after declaring a personal prejudicial interest. This was because the a close family member would be affected by the application, Cllr Liddiard said.
A similar application to extend weekend opening hours at the Farningham Road HWRS in Crowborough was also refused planning permission.