Protesters fighting plans for a composting waste site in Ashington are celebrating today (Tuesday September 17) after the firm withdrew its application.
An impassioned campaign was re-ignited earlier this month when Olus submitted plans for a composting facility, site office, staff car park, tipping shed and storage area on Broadbridge Farm in Hole Street, just off the A24.
The firm had originally submitted a planning application for the facility back in May 2010, but withdrew it in December to address a number of concerns.
When plans were put back on the table numerous village residents swarmed to a parish council meeting on Thursday September 5 to voice fears of a fly infestation, traffic issues and damage to wildlife and business.
However, Ashington Parish Council confirmed this morning the application has been withdrawn.
“For now we can breathe a sigh of relief,” said campaigner Nina Garrard, 39, of North Lane.
“It’s a victory at the moment and we can put it to the back of our minds until it rears its ugly head again.”
She said the next step will be to get together with fellow campaigners and put a strategy in place to avoid the ‘panic’ of another planning application being submitted.
Philip Circus, chairman of Horsham District Council, branded the move ‘very good news indeed’.
He told the County Times: “First thing on Monday (September 16) I spent a great deal of time discussing this application with a number of key people including senior councillors at West Sussex County Council.
“Later on Monday, I received the news that the application was to be withdrawn.
“There were a large number of significant concerns relating to this application and my belief is that the applicant concluded that, in the circumstances, they were unlikely to satisfy me or my colleagues at Horsham District Council - the major consultee on the application - or the planning committee at the county council.”
Karen Dare, clerk for Ashington Parish Council, thanked those who took the time to voice their opinion.
She said: “It is highly likely that this application will come back at some stage in the future as the applicant has been given an ‘option’ on the land by the landowner. We expect that any future application will address the many concerns raised by residents and the parish council.
“The parish council would like to thank everyone who took the time to voice their opinion on this application and to those people who organised posters, banners, information sheets and press coverage.”
A spokesperson for Olus said: “The application was withdrawn for contractual reasons and the applicants still consider the site to be a very appropriate one for the intended green waste recycling site.
“A further application maybe submitted in due course.”