A "disgusted" East Riding MP has furiously hit out at a developer who he claims is trying to use the coronavirus pandemic to his "own personal advantage".

In 2019, more than 1,000 objections were lodged to East Riding Council against a waste treatment and storage site near Goole - plans dubbed "ludicrous" by residents.

The Brigg and Goole MP, Andrew Percy, weighed in on the debate, backing the strong feeling of his constituents living in the village of Swinefleet and speaking of his fears for the safety of children on nearby roads if heavy goods traffic increased as a result.

Jubilant residents celebrated when East Riding planners rejected the plans by 4R Group - but Mr Percy has now hit out again after "one of the lowest actions I have ever experienced in 20 years in public life".

The developer has resubmitted plans for the seven-acre site as the council and residents spend much of their time focusing on the Covid-19 public health crisis.

The Old Peat Works in Swinefleet
The Old Peat Works in Swinefleet

In a passionate letter to Paul Whyatt, the technical director of 4R Group, the MP claimed the firm was "seeking to use a virus that is likely to kill thousands to sneak this application in" and called on them to "go away".

However, the firm says it submitted its documentation "prior to the current escalation of the Covid-19 situation".

The application was received by the local authority on Wednesday, March 11 and authorised 13 days later.

The initial plan was rejected last summer and an appeal, led by a government inspector, concluded 4R's subsequent appeal "should be dismissed" on the grounds that there was no plan to mitigate the "physical impact of traffic on the local road network, and particularly HGV traffic".

A draft agreement to resolve it has been submitted with the reapplication.

But the decision for the application to be tabled in the first place, especially at such a difficult time for local authorities, residents and the wider public has angered the area's MP.

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Andrew Percy's letter to 4R Group

The letter written to 4R by Andrew Percy MP said: "Dear Mr Whyatt,

"I am frankly disgusted that you are seeking to use a virus that is likely to kill thousands to sneak this application in. This is at a time when you know the overwhelming majority of local people do not want your operation anywhere near them.

"People are rightly very stressed and anxious at this time and I am appalled that you wish to add to the stress local people are feeling at the moment by bringing back your plans to bring truck loads of s*** through our villages. You must also know that people who oppose you are now going to be at a huge disadvantage by not being able to organise their opposition to this due to the new conditions on daily life. It is as if you are seeking to use this pandemic to your own personal advantage.

Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy

"My message to you on behalf of local people is this. Go away, we do not want you in our area. You should have got that message loud and clear from local people. Go away and find somewhere else for your operation. The community do not want you here.

"If you haven't got that message by now I don't know when you will.

"You should not be pursuing this at this time and I share the outrage of local people that you have picked this time to try to progress this application. It must be one of the lowest actions I have ever experienced in 20 years in public life."

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The firm's technical director, Paul Whyatt, says Andrew Percy's letter is a clear sign that he will not discuss the proposal "on civil terms" and has defended the timing of the reapplication.

"We submitted the documentation on the 11th March prior to the current escalation of the Covid-19 situation when business was being carried out in the normal fashion," he said.

"I asked if he would like a call or video conference to discuss further. It is apparent from the response he has no wish to engage with us on civil terms."

If successful, the intention remains to run the site six days per week, excluding Sundays and Bank Holidays.