A GOVERNMENT inspector has given the go-ahead to a controversial waste recycling plant.
A council planning committee rejected an application to recycle non-hazardous wastes on the Cleadon Lane Industrial Estate in East Boldon.
Demolition firm G O’Brien and Sons had wanted to change the use of the land to recycle demolition materials, cardboard, disused food and drink cans.
Worried villagers had submitted a petition expressing fears at the “industrialisation” of their village and the associated health risks from additional dust, noise and traffic.
But the applicant appealed the decision to a Government inspector, who has now given the green light to the scheme, concluding it “would have no adverse effect on the living conditions of nearby residents”.
South Tyneside Council has been ordered to pay the full costs of the appeal.
Today Coun Jeffrey Milburn, Conservative representative for Cleadon and East Boldon, said: “We expressed our concern, particularly at the increase in traffic passing through what is a suburban area and the damage to our roads through potholes and the like.
“Once again an inspector in Bristol is making vital decisions which have a huge impact on people in Cleadon and East Boldon. I just hope the Localisation Act going through Parliament will return these powers to local people.”
The inspector’s report says: “Although the council’s decision referred particularly to dust and litter, residents also expressed concerns at the potential harm from odour, flies and vermin.
“The management of these aspects of the recycling process are primarily matters for the pollution control authority.
“However, it is relevant that the proposal includes dust suppression measures, to be implemented through a dust mitigation plan.
“Although some residents comment that dust is already a problem, it is reasonable to expect such measures to be sufficient to ensure that the waste recycling process would not make the existing situation any worse.”
It is anticipated the facility will deal with 24,000 tonnes of waste a year and generate 60 heavy goods vehicle movements a day.
The inspector’s report adds: “I appreciate that at times there will be local congestion, especially when a level crossing is closed, with the effects being felt more particularly within East Boldon itself.
“Also, I recognise that quieter country roads are more likely to be used by walkers or horse riders.
“However, the number of daily vehicle movements associated with this proposal would be low.”