F/15/20/WS - Demolition of existing buildings and structures and construction and operation of an energy recovery facility and a waste sorting and transfer facility for treatment of municipal, commercial and industrial wastes, including ancillary buildings, structures, parking, hardstanding and landscape works. This application is a County Waste Matter and will be determined by West Sussex County Council, Ford Circular Technology Park, Ford Road, Ford
The Principal Planner presented the detail of this proposal, together with the officer’s written report update setting out the steer that had been put forward by the Yapton, Ford and Clymping Advisory Group meeting held on 25 August 2020. The Advisory Group had supported the officer recommendation to object but wished reasons for the objection, as set out in the officer update, to be forwarded to West Sussex County Council.
In discussing the matter, very strong views were expressed that this application was not acceptable and the views of the Yapton, Ford and Clymping Advisory Group were supported. It was also proposed and agreed that a further reason be added to the objection relating to this Council’s strategic sites allocation in the Local Plan and the Arun Strategic Transport Assessment, the wording being: -
The proposal would be detrimental to the Local Authority’s ability to deliver on the strategic sites detailed in the Adopted and therefore statutory Local Plan, both in terms of the quantum of housing and the Arun Strategic Transport assessment.
Particular issues raised in the debate centred around: -
· This site had an existing planning permission for a recycling plant and that had been taken into account by the Planning Inspector when considering Arun’s Local Plan for adoption. The strategic allocations across the District had been agreed and this proposal would be detrimental to those, particularly in Ford. Who would want to build or live so close to such a development?
· The Transport Assessment undertaken by Arun had assumed that the existing planning permission for a recycling plant would be implemented, therefore if the proposal on the table went through that assessment would have to be revisited. The Arun Transport Study: Waste Site Allocation Transport Addendum 2014, Paragraph 2.3.2 was quoted and it was highlighted that that was a Policy Statement of the County Council, which they now appeared to be disregarding.
· Noise pollution; light pollution; harmful emissions; heavy traffic movements; the size of facility which would cause damage to the immediate landscape, including the South Downs National Park and the coastal plain.
· The Council had already accepted that a waste facility would be built on the site but what was now being proposed would cause irreparable damage to the District’s tourism.
· The County Council had chosen not to go ahead with a site which already had planning permission and, furthermore, the site at Horsham had been passed at appeal. Two sites were therefore available and it was unacceptable that Ford should now be considered suitable to be the destination for the waste for the whole of the South East of England.
· It had been stated that the energy to be produced would be going to the National Grid and a proposal to sink cables all the way to Chichester would not be practical or economically viable.
· The highway infrastructure was totally inadequate to support the proposal and any such facility needed to be much closer to A roads and major routes. Comment was made that routing agreements were in place between County Highways and local businesses to ensure traffic used the A259 to go east and west to protect areas such as Arundel. A facility such as this proposal would normally be situated with a 360 degree access, which Ford clearly did not have.
· The environmental statement needed to more strongly support the objection in respect of key emissions; night noise; underlying noise of fans, etc; the detrimental impact of nitrous oxide; and the inadequate flue cleansing mechanism that was proposed.
· It was suggested that a site with a good rail network would be more suitable.
Early in the debate it had been formally proposed and seconded that, should the County Council be minded to approve the application, then Arun District Council would apply to the Secretary of State to call-in the application. It was confirmed that would be added as a separate recommendation to the Council’s response to West Sussex County Council.
The Committee then
RESOLVED – That
(1) An objection be raised based on the officer’s report, the comments from the Yapton, Ford and Clymping Advisory Group, the issues raised by Members and the following additional reason:-
The proposal would be detrimental to the Local Authority’s ability to deliver on the strategic sites detailed in the Adopted and therefore statutory Local Plan, both in terms of the quantum of housing and the Arun Strategic Transport assessment; and
(2) Should the County Council be minded to approve the application, then Arun District Council would apply to the Secretary of State to call-in the application.