PLANNING permission for a car-crushing plant has been approved, despite objections.
The site at Monument Park Industrial Estate, Washington, currently houses a material recycling facility.
But it can now become a metal recycling centre run by Van Dalen Metals Recycling and Trading, after getting approval from Sunderland Council’s development control sub-committee.
The proposal had sparked objections from people from Teal Farm estate, just south of the site.
Some 246 residents signed a petition opposing the application, as well as setting up a website and poll.
Fred Kirkland, Acting Secretary of Teal Farm Resident’s Committee, told the meeting at the Civic Centre: “We are not a group which objects to things by nature, we are a group who work with local companies and agencies to improve our quality of life and of the environment in which we live.
“This will be the seventh licensed waste transfer site within one mile of our homes.
“The existing six have caused untold misery to the people who live up there by a number of means. The difficulties in regulating these kinds of sites is apparent by the number of issues raised, not least the toxic waste that will come out of vehicles, the noise which will emulate from it, the dust and more.”
Objections were also made by Councillor Neville Padgett and the Centre Manager of the Washington Wetland Centre.
Councillor Padgett said: “What I’m worried about is the close proximity this is to the Washington Wetland Centre, and if there is any chance of any nasty liquids getting into the wetlands because we’ve had this in the past.
“What we’re also going to get is illegal parking. We’ve had enough trouble as it is around this area and it’s just going to spill over.
“It’s up to the council to police it, we don’t have the staff to do that.”
Despite the concerns raised, councillors on the committee voted to approve the application, following recommendations in a detailed report by planning officers, which included approval from the Environment Agency.
The report said: “Submitted surveys and details have demonstrated that it is not expected that there will be any detrimental impact to the surrounding businesses, Wildlife Trust or residential dwellings in the wider area.”
Martin Pollard, of Van Dalen, said: “We do recognise that recycling schemes of this type can give rise to local environmental concerns, and that a number of representations have been made by the public.
“The proposal is comprehensive — it contains full details of all aspects of the scheme — including extensive environmental information.
He added: “It complied with all of the authority’s requirements. Van Dalen works to the highest environmental standards.”