Plans for soil recycling centre near Sandy would cause safety issues says councillor

A lorry heading towards the siteA lorry heading towards the site
A lorry heading towards the site
He also listed health concerns for local residents

Plans for a soil recycling centre near Sandy have been called in by a Central Bedfordshire councillor.

The land is to one side of the road leading from Brook End to Beeston Green at Beeston.

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Applicant GS Landscaping Limited wants a change of use from agricultural to B8 storage or distribution.

The company said on its full planning application: “We plan to develop the land for materials storage to supplement similar arrangements at another site.

“Our proposal is to initially create security bunds around the perimeter to secure the land and prevent unauthorised vehicular access. These bunds will also act as noise and dust barriers.

“Installation of the bunds may include the use of a screener to ensure the material is suitable, for which an environmental permit is sought from the Environment Agency.

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“We propose to develop the current site entrance, install a gate to ensure site security and lay a hard standing track. This will be from the western side of the site leading to a hard standing area to the north of the land, where we’ll store inert soils and aggregates.”

The land is currently used by the landowner as a private recreational area, according to the applicant Gary Smith. “There are no agricultural activities taking place on this site, as has been the case for a number of years,” he said.

“No permanent fixed plant will be deployed on the site. A mobile crusher will be used for blending, screening and crushing of soils and stones under an environmental permit to produce a recycled aggregate.

“Other mobile plant machinery will be used to manage stockpiles of material.”

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The application has been called in by Independent Sandy councillor Simon Ford, who has concerns on highways safety grounds.

“Approximately 20 six- or eight-wheeler lorries per day would be on a single road that is clearly marked as ‘unsuitable for HGVs’,” he explained. “The safety concerns are due to there being no safe area for pedestrians or cyclists.

“Large amounts of mud are being taken off site on to the roadway during the winter months, causing safety issues. And access to the site isn’t appropriate to the size of the road.”

He also listed health concerns for local residents, through “concrete and stone crushing, dust nuisance and noise pollution”. He added: “This type of business isn’t suitable for this location.”

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There have been 36 representations, with 34 against, one in favour and one comment on the Central Bedfordshire Council planning portal.

Residents claim the site for the proposed soil recycling centre is on a single lane, with 38-tonne lorries already travelling at 60miles an hour, and that there are air pollution problems.

The plans are due to be considered by CBC’s development management committee in due course.