Villages united in battle to stop ‘lorry menace’ ahead of key meeting on Monday

The Waste King site location (Google)
The Waste King site location (Google)

Villages are uniting against an application for a major waste processing and recycling centre near Cheddington due to the volume of HGVs they fear it will bring through their communities.

The retrospective plan submitted by Integrated Solutions is on behalf of Waste King who have occupied Unit 25B Marsworth Airfield North Site since 2014.

The company wants permission from Bucks County Council to formally change the use of the land from the parking of empty skips to waste storage and sorting, allowing it to receive up to 25,000 tonnes per year of mixed construction and demolition waste including metal, wood and concrete that would be sorted into different materials for recycling at other facilities.

The remaining waste would be passed through a trommel and a picking station.

Under the plan there would be a maximum of 40 lorry movements per day (20 in, 20 out), and the site would operate 7.30am – 5.30pm Mondays

to Fridays, 7.30am – 12noon Saturdays and no operation on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Waste King says it has an existing customer base in and around the Buckinghamshire and that the waste is collected typically from within a 10-mile radius of the application site.

They state: “The proposed use seeks to minimise HGV journeys by managing waste at the same location as the empty skip storage. This avoids HGVs travelling long distances to collect empty skips.”

Ahead of the planning meeting at Bucks County Council’s offices at 10am on Monday (June 19), representatives from numerous villages, including action group CALM (Campaign Against Lorry Menace) have said the application must be rejected as the current road network and infrastructure of the surrounding communities offers inadequate support for any additional HGV or very large skip lorry movements.

Councils in Marsworth, Ivinghoe, Mentmore, Slapton, Wingrave with Rowsham, and Tring, have all registered concerns or objections to the application - but planning officers are recommending councillors approve the scheme.

Waste King say they are prepared to enter a routeing agreement which would see HGVs pass along Long Marston Road, Station Road then joining the B488, avoiding the centre of Cheddington – and Bucks Highways have deemed the route as acceptable. Additionally, lorries would be GPS tracked to ensure they keep to the agreed route.

A planning officer’s report states: “It is clear that any increase in HGV movements from the Old Ministry Airfield site would not be acceptable. However, at the moment, there is no restriction on vehicle movements arising from Unit 25B. The applicant has stated that, if

planning permission is granted, vehicle movements would be limited to 40 per day (20 in, 20 out). Granting permission for the proposed change of use, with a cap on vehicle movements per day and a routeing agreement would control vehicle movements and routeing and thereby prevent any further increases of HGVs from this Unit and bring more HGVs to follow an agreed routeing plan. This would bring another Unit from the industrial estate under restrictive vehicle movements and routeing agreement which is considered to be an improvement to the current situation at the site.”

The report adds: “It is acknowledged that members of the public living in close proximity to the site and along routes of HGVs have great concern about increased HGV movements travelling to and from the site and the impact it may have on the network infrastructure. These have been considered during the application process and in consultation with Highways Development Management Officers, it is

considered that this planning application would bring more benefit than harm with regards to vehicle movements on surrounding roads. The application if approved would limit vehicle movements coming from that site and a greater control would be had on its routeing. Subject to the S106 agreement and relevant conditions, it is considered that the proposed development would not have a significant adverse impact on the local amenity or highway safety.”

> Cheddington resident and our former LBO correspondent Deborah Hodgetts gives her report on objections to the scheme from the villages.

Would You Want This on Your Doorstep? Local residents of Cheddington, Mentmore, Marsworth, Long Marston, Ivinghoe, Horton and the local area say: NO! SURELY - NOT AGAIN? WHY ON OUR DOORSTEP? to the waste disposal company Waste King Limited, based at Unit 25B, Marsworth Airfield North Site, Cheddington Lane.

Locals residents, parish councils and Campaign group C.A.L.M (“Campaign Against Lorry Menace”) have been battling similar applications on this site since 2007, when two previous planning applications for increasing the number of lorry movements and installing a trommel, a machine to sort waste were rejected by Bucks County Council.

On April 29 2008, M.P.Hill the independent Planning Inspector stated the following “consider that the main issue in this case is the impact of the proposed increase in traffic movements on the amenities of local residents and other road users.

Point 5 of the Appeal Decision states:

“In order to minimise the impact of traffic generated by the waste transfer station, the developer entered into a Section 106 agreement in 1991 which requires all drivers of its vehicles serving the site to gain access and egress via the B488, the C73 and the C188 roads. This should ensure that most of the traffic associated with the development does not travel via or through Long Marston or through the centre of Cheddington.

“Although for most of its length the route linking the industrial estate access and the B488 is reasonably straight and capable of accommodating two-way traffic, it involves drivers having to negotiate a number of obstacles.

“The most notable of these is a single lane, hump back bridge over the railway line at Station Road (C73), where the single lane traffic flows are controlled by traffic lights.

“The other main problem is that there are a number of dwellings along the length of Station Road, whose residents suffer from the noise and vibration of lorries using this route. Although the dwellings are not sited as close to the carriageway as some of those I

noted in the village centres, I have no doubt that the concentration of lorries using this identified route causes harm to the living conditions of residents living alongside this road.”

Points 11 and 12 states:

“However, it seems to me that the development is dealing with more than local waste and appears to be sourcing material from a wider area. Given the poor quality of the links to the strategic highway network, I consider that encouragement should not be given to increase traffic flows on the local road network to and from the appeal site, particularly when a proportion of the waste arising being dealt with already originates well outside the local area.

“To do so would clearly add to the harm presently being caused to the living conditions of the local residents and the users of the local highway network. I therefore conclude that the appeal should not succeed, and the restrictions imposed on the number of lorry movements by condition 5 should remain.

“The appellant argues that the distance to the waste material is irrelevant because most of the journey is made on the Strategic Highway Network. That may be so, but if waste is collected from an increasingly wide area, the total volume dealt with is likely to increase, and the volume of traffic using the local road network would also increase.

“In my judgement, the appeal proposal is contrary to Policies 28 of the Buckinghamshire Waste and Minerals Local Plan (WMLP) which seeks to protect the amenities of those who may be affected by the waste development, including those on routes to and from such development. I also consider that it conflicts with one of the primary objectives of Policy 30 of the WMLP, which requires waste management proposals to comply with the proximity principle.

“To allow additional lorry movements, would enable higher throughput at the site and almost certainly encourage waste to be obtained from a wide area, contrary to the proximity principle.

The Appeal Decision APP/P0430/A/08/2064279 of April 2008, concludes:

“I have taken into account all of the matters raised in the representations including the appellant’s submission that an increase of an average of 4.2 lorry movements per hour over a ten-hour period would be barely perceptible given the total volume of traffic generated at the industrial estate. It is argued that the volume of traffic for local residents cannot be a serious problem, as most users of the industrial estate are not restricted on the number of lorry movements. I do not agree that the increased volume of lorry movements associated with this appeal proposal would have an insignificant effect on the amenities of the local residents, given the

problems that are already experienced on a daily basis.

“I find that these and other matters raised do not outweigh the factors that have led to my conclusions on the main issue in this case.

“The local grassroots campaign is actively supported by County Councillor Anne Wight and local MPs; John Bercow and David Gauke, who are supporting the group and have helped, secure the outcomes of previous similar planning applications by Cairns/Camiers, which were rejected.

Pier Thomas, a key figure of the grassroots campaign group (C.A.L.M), states: “We thought that the Planning Inspector’s decision in 2008 was decisive and unequivocal.

“Put simply, the local road network through our rural villages had reached saturation level and, any one additional lorry or HGV vehicle is one too many.

“So we were completely stunned by Bucks County Council’s proposed recommendation in this planning application from Waste King Limited to increase the number of lorry movements and to allow storage and sorting of waste using a trommel.

“With absolutely no improvement to the local roads plus an increase in general road traffic over the past decade, how could this be possible? And if Bucks go ahead and approve this application, we suspect this will be the start of many more applications.
“A major overwhelming factor, aside from that of the increased traffic and the issue of road safety for cyclists and people walking, we are also greatly concerned regarding the effects of air pollution, and how this will impact on those most vulnerable in the local community in particular the elderly and children.

“The current situation is that Bucks County Council is proposing to approve the retrospective application by Waste King at the Development Control Committee meeting on Monday, June 19, 2017. The County Council states they will impose conditions on Waste King.

“We say that they are unlikely to be met as the council took over 2 years to find out that this company has been operating without planning permission, the council has no statutory duty of enforcement and they have provided no plan of how they propose to track the vehicles and we understand that getting such data from employers and drivers may be considered an infringement of individual privacy and is covered by the Human Rights Act.”

Local residents and parish councils across all of the surrounding villages are now fighting to stop the proposals of Waste King Limited retrospective planning application changing its use from storage of empty skips to a waste storage andsorting facility at the Marsworth Airfield site, situated within close proximity to the villages of Cheddington, Marsworth, Mentmore, Long Marston, Ivinghoe and Horton.

Due to the close proximity to local residences, a near by Primary and Infant schools, elderly residences and agricultural livestock, the effect of this development could have a detrimental effect on the local communities and cause substantial damage to the local environment’s natural beauty.

Bucks County Council will be discussing Planning Application CM/17/17 at the Development Control Committee on Monday, June 19, 2017 at 10am at County Hall.

The Development Control Committee has been invited to APPROVE this planning application CM/17/17 subject to the following: A S106 Agreement to secure the routeing of vehicles to ensure that HGVs do not travel through the villages of Long Marston and Cheddington (Appendix B) as well as a HGV routeing management plan to include GPS tracking of vehicles (or equivalent);

In the following report prepared for the Development Control Committee on Monday, June 19 it clearly states the plans for the site, and also specifies an increase in lorry movements to 40 movements a day, to date this has already been exceeded.

Please click the following link to read the full extent of this report:

https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/documents/s96786/Waste King
The Parish Councils of all of the villages impacted by this decision also disagree with the proposed plans. To view their responses please review the link below:

http://publicaccess.buckscc.gov.uk/onlineapplications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OM3DJBDS04800
Overnight further information has come to light that the Council has already set up a monitoring scheme in April of this year. It is also clear that Bucks County Council has limited resources, which may not be sufficient to monitor such an operation that Waste King now have in place.

Pier Thomas has advised that further enquiries with Bucks County Council during May, have still not provided dates and timeframes for the first inspection of the Marsworth Airfield development of Waste King. This is also on the back of enforcement not being the council’s statutory duty.

C.A.L.M and local residents are now looking for answers, with regard to how and why this application is being recommended for approval. Especially after a delayed decision and two previous rejections by the Council.

Fears are now that Waste King Limited will not be adequately monitored and that the council will take a back seat, with regard to the impact on the local communities, amenities, environment and infrastructure.

This local matter is now being supported by County Councillor, Anne Wight who today made the following comment: “I entirely understand and share residents’ concerns regarding this planning application. The increase in HGV vehicle movements through villages in our local

area is already distressing many residents in my division. Consequently, I intend to object strongly to this planning application on behalf of my residents at the forthcoming development control meeting.”

Local residents and C.A.L.M will now await the outcome of this meeting, and hope that the Waste King planning application is REJECTED.