Wearside recycling plant plans spark row

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A ROW has erupted over controversial plans to expand a waste recycling plant on Wearside.

North East Waste Products Ltd is seeking planning permission for its new storage area and the installation of industrial machinery at its current centre in Hetton Lyons Industrial Estate.

The operation involves the sorting and storage of inert construction and excavation waste as well as the use of mobile crushing equipment.

The retrospective change of use application for the site, which was previously vacant, is set to be considered by Sunderland Council in the coming weeks.

But some householders in nearby Lyons Avenue have raised concerns that it could lead to increased air and noise pollution.

They have written to the local authority fearing a “gross loss of amenity”, “foul odour of brick and concrete dust” and “risk to health and safety”.

Hetton Town Council, which was also consulted over the application, also registered a formal objection.

“Members were anxious to highlight the many issues and complaints that have been raised on a very regular basis from residents concerning the on-going operation of the site,” said clerk John Price. “There is a desire for planning restrictions to be enforced on the business.”

However, the firm has moved to reassure residents over issues such as waste reception and handling, traffic management and noise control, and dust control and monitoring.

Marco Muia, director of consultants Oaktree Environmental, which prepared the application, said: “During the preparation of the statement, the advice given by national and local planning policies and guidance documents has been taken into consideration.”

Mr Muia, who helped produce a detailed design and access statement for the project, said the expansion was vital in order for the firm to keep up with demand.

“The rise in land fill costs and the introduction of the land fill tax has increased the need for recycling and recovering operations to reclaim a wide range of wastes and reusable products,” he said.

“Current UK recycling rates are low, but it is anticipated that in excess of 90 to 95 per cent of certain projects managed by the applicant could be recycled and that the site could provide employment for a further four people.”

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