Block on landfill sites welcomed

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FED-UP residents have welcomed a council commitment not to approve any new landfill sites in Hartlepool over the next 15 years.

That pledge is part of Hartlepool Borough Council’s core strategy, which is a major planning blueprint that will shape the town for the next 15 years.

The town has two active landfill sites, the Niramax site, in Thomlinson Road, and the Alab site, in Brenda Road.

Residents in nearby Seaton Carew have backed the council’s commitment not to allow any more.

Retired fire officer Mel Dickson, 68, of Bilsdale Road, said: “This is certainly a positive step forward.

“The ones we have shouldn’t have been approved in the first place. They just seem to get bigger,” added the married dad-of-two.

Norah Jones, 82, of Major Cooper Court, said: “It is not a particular problem for me, but I can understand why they are a problem for people who live near them.

“I don’t know too much about it, but this sounds like good news,” added the retired delivery driver, a mum of three.

Retired welder Alan Gowdy, 70, of Kildale Road, said: “The smell can be really obnoxious, especially when the wind is up.

“The problem is they are too close to domestic houses. They should be out of town,” added the married dad-of-two.

Joanne Ruffell, 35, a full-time mum-of-two, of Rectory Way, said: “This is good news, but we need to be thinking more about recycling.

“The rubbish has to go somewhere.”

Michelle Hope, 27, a receptionist administrator from Intrepid Close, said: “I live out the back of a landfill site and the smell can be horrendous in the summer.

“It is good news that people in other areas won’t have to live next to one,” added the married mum-of-one.

There is a third landfill site at Cowpen Bewley, on the outskirts of town.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: “I can fully appreciate people’s frustration and anger living next to, or in the vicinity of, a landfill site and how difficult it must be at times.

“But we are working towards bringing this long running issue to a close.”

The two active landfill sites are expected to be “capped off” and grassed over within the next year.

Mayor Drummond said if firms wanted to apply for an extension they would have to “pull out all the stops” to ensure it does not impact on the environment or public.

A key area of the draft core strategy is to identify parts of the Southern Business Zone, including Graythorp, as an area for a centre of excellence for environmental waste management.

It comes as the council’s planning committee recently turned down plans for three new waste transfer sites in other parts of Hartlepool.

In May, the committee rejected plans for a waste transfer station and a separate application for the storage of skips and waste material at the Sandgate Industrial Estate.

An application for a waste transfer station in Brenda Road was also turned down in June.

Mayor Drummond said it is part of an ongoing commitment to tighten up policy as part of the Tees Valley joint minerals and waste development strategy, a key part of the core strategy.

He said: “The last couple of months has seen three applications turned down and that shows we are acting on our commitment.

“I think people have got the message now that we have tightened up immensely on our policy for waste transfer sites.”

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