East Riding councillors have backed plans for a new organic waste recycling facility in Melton despite concerns over noise and smells from it running 24 hours a day.
East Riding Council's Planning Committee backed revised plans from Transwaste for the anaerobic digestion plant at its site in Gibson Lane near the Melton West Business Park today (Thursday, June 17).
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Transwaste's agent Dan Grierson told councillors approval would move the facility further away from homes, cut delivery traffic through using waste already on site and create green bio gas energy.
But Cllr Julie Abraham, whose South Hunsley ward covers the site, told councillors assessments found additional noise from the facility could reach statutory nuisance levels and had prompted local complaints.
Committee chair Cllr David Tucker said the facility was a "necessary evil" and told developers they should not do any works other than those stated in the council's approval.
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Plans are now set for further talks with council officers before their formal approval, with conditions imposed for white noise vehicle reversing alarms and a local liaison group. Plans for the site show buildings which make up the anaerobic digestion plant will cover an area of almost one hectares.
The facility is made up of two digesters, a biomass storage dome, a dewatering building and a flare powered by a wind turbine.
Councillors heard the facility would have to run for 24 hours because the machinery could not be turned off once switched on and needed to constantly process materials.
They also heard it would be 200 metres further to the west of its original location first approved in April 2019.
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Mr Grierson said the facility would recycle organic black and green bin waste, turning it into a "peat like" substance then used to produce bio gas.
He added it could produce about 6.5 tonnes of material an hour, or 1,000 a week, and its approval would create four new jobs.
The agent said: "The gas will be injected back into the local grid, people in the area will probably use it.
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"The technology is pretty new and modern, it's currently operating in Sweden and Portugal so it's established and approved of.
"It will be heavily regulated by the Environment Agency and would reduce vehicle movements as imported waste will be used in it and won't be exported on."
Cllr Abraham said there were concerns that its approval could lead to worsening noise and smells near residents' homes and the Welton Waters footpath.
She added its 24 hour running could lead to "back door" day and night operations at the site, though councillors heard it would be outside the time limited area.
The ward councillor said: "By granting approval for this development the number of complaints from residents could increase.
"There may be some comfort in the fact that this is moving further away from residents' homes.
"But it will be closer to the new Brough South development so it could mean problems are shifted from one set of residents onto another.
"I hope that by approving this we're not sleepwalking into a situation like we have with the composting facility in Willerby which continues to be a problem there."
Chair Cllr Tucker said he was well aware of problems at the site having witnessed noise and smells while visiting ahead of the meeting.
The chair said: "The agent for this application needs to speak to Transwaste and tell them to be good neighbours.
"This should not exceed what it says on the tin, you have permission for this and nothing else.
"If not all it does is aggravate the local community."