CONTROVERSIAL proposals for a waste transfer station have been given the go-ahead.
A planning committee passed plans to build a site to deal with Sunderland’s rubbish on land off Commercial Road in Hendon.
Recycling and waste management company Sita UK revealed its proposals for the site in July.
Residents were unhappy after hearing the area, at Jack Crawford House, would deal with up to 80,000 tonnes of household and business waste and 2,000 tonnes of recyclable materials collected by Sunderland City Council every year.
A number of councillors abstained from voting through the plans at a heated meeting at Sunderland City Council. Angry residents looked on in disgust from the public benches in the civic centre as the plans were passed.
Hendon councillor Michael Mordey voiced concerns about smells from the waste and the number of HGVs which would visit the site every day.
“This is going to be 100 yards from the nearest house,” he said. “The nearest schools are 250 metres and 400 metres away.”
Houghton councillor Sheila Ellis, who has spent years campaigning against the landfill site in Houghton, supported Coun Mordey’s appeal.
She said: “This (development) will make Hendon the dustbin of Sunderland – Houghton has been for 16 years.
“I can assure you, you will have problems with stench.”
The new station will see household rubbish delivered to the site for sorting and loading on to bigger lorries, before being taken to a new energy-from-waste facility in Teesside.
Corrina Scott-Roy, planning manager for Sita UK, said the development will be one of three waste transfer stations being developed by the company as part of its contract with the South Tyne & Wear Waste Management Partnership.
“We welcome the decision taken by Sunderland city councillors in granting permission for this new waste transfer station, which is integral to the partnership’s plans to develop more sustainable ways of managing household waste by diverting it from local landfills and converting it into electricity,” she said.
The facility will sort and “bulk-up” non-recycled household waste, fly-tipped waste and business waste collected from Sunderland.
About 2,500 tonnes of recyclable materials will also be recovered from the waste each year – including wood, plastic, metals, electrical products such as TVs, tyres and glass bottles – and will be transferred to recycling companies.
Coun Peter Mole, chairman of the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership, said: “We are very pleased that Sita UK has been granted permission to develop a waste transfer station in Hendon.
“The facility will be an integral part of Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead’s plans to create much better, more sustainable ways of managing our residents’ rubbish.
“Currently non-recycled waste from our collective 284,000 households goes into landfills, which is not good for the environment and is also increasingly expensive.
“Our contract with Sita UK will see that waste converted into electricity at a new plant to be built in Teesside.”
But angry resident Eddy Moore has said although the waste station is needed, it will be in the wrong place.
Speaking on behalf of the Long Streets Action Group, Mr Moore said: “If it had been down the docks, I don’t think anyone would have complained.
“There were 69 objections. The majority of people I know were objecting on the grounds of smells, vermin, seagulls and it is very close to two schools, residential properties and there is the problem of traffic congestion.”