A controversial recycling depot in Kirkby will be extended – despite objections from residents that they are already ‘living in hell’.
The depot, on Portland Industrial Estate, Kirkby, is run by Veolia and will now be used to store glass for recycling.
Large outdoor glass stores will now be built, and the glass will be dropped into lorries using a large scoop, and then taken off site to be processed, following approval at a meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council yesterday, Tuesday.
Residents fear this will be “very loud” and “attract more rats”, but Veolia says its noise assessment shows it will be “barely audible” above the background noise.
Nearby residents, who are as close as 65 metres to the site, say they have been plagued by rats, and frequently have to suffer a “foul odour” coming from the waste which is already processed on the site.
However they do say there have been improvements in recent months, as mitigation measures have been brought in.
Kathy Handley, who lives about 80m from the site, said: “It’s a living hell, people can’t go out or have barbecues in the summer because the smell and the flies are so bad.
“You can’t let your kids out because of the rats. And that’s before the glass recycling.
“Whenever you complain they just send a generic email to say it is ‘operating normally’.
“For the council to give permission to expand what they’re doing, it’s a disgrace.”
David Bridgwood, Veolia’s planning manager, says an advisory group set up by the company was helping to reduce the noise impact.
He said: “We do understand the concerns of residents and we did have issues with odour in the past, but we have worked to resolve those and we probably should have done it quicker, but we think we are pretty much there.
“We are monitoring it, we are responding to any issues that are raised.
“We’ve measured the noise levels from a similar facility elsewhere, projected them onto what’s the noise that’s there already, with the industrial estate and the road, and what that suggests is you won’t actually be able to hear it at the nearest sensitive properties.”
Councillor John Knight represents the area for Labour, and spoke out against the plans.
He said: “This facility is not needed, in a place which is already causing untold problems.
“If this didn’t exist, neither the people of Nottinghamshire, the residents of Ashfield and more specifically the people in Kirkby would not be worse off.
“There is only one reason for this being put forward, and that is that it makes it more profitable for Veolia.
“What are we going to gain as a county council by passing this?
“The answer is absolutely nothing, and the problems it could cause are way out of proportion for what this plan is - ludicrous.”
Kirkby resident Gregg Severn also spoke at the meeting.
He said: “My family and I fear that the introduction of glass will add yet another potential reason for us not to be able to enjoy our garden in the shape of noise and further odours.”