‘Disappointment’ at change of conditions at Ford recycling centre

Ford Materials Recycling Facility
Ford Materials Recycling Facility

Residents have expressed ‘disappointment’ at a decision to permit changes to planning conditions for a Ford recycling centre.

The Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), operated by Viridor on behalf of West Sussex County Council, takes all the county’s household recycling and sees waste mechanically sorted and separated, baled up, and then transported to reprocessors for manufacturing.

But since the centre, off Ford Road, has surplus capacity Viridor submitted an application to vary the conditions attached to its operation of the site, allowing it to accept material from outside West Sussex.

This proposal was approved by WSCC’s planning committee today (Tuesday May 24), but after the meeting Climping residents said they were disappointed by the decision, and were hopeful of a reduction of Church Lane’s speed limit from 40 to 30mph.

Jane Moseley, interim county planning manager, explained that in principle the amendment to conditions was considered acceptable as it would not increase the number of lorry movements above the previously agreed limit.

When planning permission was previously granted a maximum throughput of 100,000 tonnes a year and a limit of 108 total HGV movements a day in and out of the site was set by the county council and these would both remain the same.

Simon Oakley (Con, Chichester East) said: “We have an existing permission that has a limit on the tonnage through the site.

“The report makes a very clear case that circumstances have changed and what is reasonable under planning law.

“It appears the amendment is reasonable in relation to planning law.

“Things have changed and therefore we have to react to that and I think it would unreasonable to go against that.”

Mandeep Jutley, from Viridor, said: “We are simply looking to use the approved capacity of the site.”

But Jenny Betteridge, speaking on behalf of the objectors, explained that residents were concerned about the use of bigger and heavier articulated lorries bringing waste from outside West Sussex and the impact these vehicles would have on road safety for pedestrians and cyclists in particular, as Church Lane had only one narrow footpath.

She also questioned the cumulative impact this proposal and others would have on residents, especially those in listed properties nearby.

Mick Clark (UKIP, Saltings) said: “There should be enough factories like this or processing places to not to have to bring trucks from all over the country [into West Sussex] and I’m really concerned about that.”

He suggested they listen to residents and thought the area had ‘taken too much over the time’.

But Heidi Brundson (Con, Imberdown), chair of the committee, replied: “It has met the tests and is reasonable and therefore I think it would be difficult for this committee in that regard to take the viewpoint that you have unfortunately.”

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