Recycling site gets go-ahead

Joe's Skip Hire, Brenda Road, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Joe's Skip Hire, Brenda Road, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

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REJECTED plans to turn a scrap metal premises into a waste transfer site have been overturned on appeal.

Joe’s Skip Hire, in Brenda Road, Hartlepool, applied to council planners for permission to change the use of their site last June.

Applicant Frederick Randall wanted to import mixed waste – including brick, concrete, woods, metals and plastics – on to the site using the skip hire business.

But Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee rejected the plans.

Chartered town planners England & Lyle, who have been acting on behalf of the landowner, have since successfully appealed the decision.

Costs, subject to negotiation, have also been awarded to Mr Randall.

Planning Inspector Jonathan King, who upheld the appeal, said in a report: “The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted for the change of use to a waste transfer station/recycling facility and associated works at Joe’s Skips.”

At the time planning officers, who recommended the proposals be rejected, said evidence showed there is already enough waste transfer and recycling sites and that these plans would have a detrimental impact on neighbouring businesses and homes.

But Mr King found that subject to planning conditions there is “very little likelihood” of any reduction in the quality of life for nearby residents.

He also said the development would not cause any “material harm” to the wider Tees Valley waste management strategy, which was another concern.

Jeremy Good, a director at England & Lyle, said: “The inspector has agreed with England & Lyle that the council acted unreasonably in failing to provide a respectable basis for its decision.

“The council was also found to be relying on an emerging development plan to support its decision, with respect to the effect of the development on the strategic waste management strategy, this again was proven to be incorrect and unreasonable.”

Mr Good added: “Having addressed the planning committee back in June 2011 to highlight many of the points raised by the Inspector, it is regrettable that it has taken until now for the council’s decision to be overturned.

“However, we hope our client can now press on with his plans for the site.”

At the time, the committee also heard that the firm had been operating as a waste transfer site without the proper planning permission.

But the waste can now be sorted into piles, bulked up and transferred from the site to be either sold on or taken to a licensed waste disposal site.

The waste transfer site will be able to process up to 200 tonnes of waste each week between 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 2pm Saturdays.

Labour councillor Rob Cook, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “We are very disappointed with the Planning Inspector’s decision in relation to the use of the site as a waste transfer station/recycling facility.

“The council refused planning permission for this proposal and acknowledged that there are a significant number of waste operations within the borough.”