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Bridport waste row: New waste transfer station could be built by picnic area

SIX sites – including one by a picnic area – have been shortlisted for Bridport’s new waste transfer station.

It’s the latest development in a saga which has now dragged on for more than a decade and cost local taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

A new facility is needed because the current household recycling centre in Bridport town centre is too small, causes traffic jams and only has planning permission until summer 2010.

Having previously said that it did not wish to retain the South Street recycling centre, Dorset County Council will soon found itself in the embarrassing position of having to seek another three-year extension.

The problem is simply that a suitable alternative has proved hard to secure. Independent planning consultants Nicholas Pearson Associates (NPA) last year began winnowing down a list of 32 possible locations.

The six now left (in the Stage 1A review) are:

Broomhills Farm, off the A35

Gore Cross, North of Watford Lane, on the northern edge of Bridport

Green Lane Nursery, on the so-called Walditch Plain

Miles Cross 1, on the south side of the A35 – B3162 junction

Miles Cross 2, on the north side of the A35, between it and the B3162

Watton Farm, near A35 Eype picnic area

A Highways Agency rethink about access to and from the A35 means that a waste transfer station could be built by the Eype picnic area, or just further along the main road pictured here at the Miles Cross junction with the B3162.

Dorset County Council’s long-favoured site in the countryside north of Gore Cross is still in contention. In the consultants’ league table, it scores 30 points. Following consultation with the Highways Agency about access to sites off the A35, that’s now the same as Miles Cross 1 and Green Lane.

Miles Cross 2 and Watton Farm score 29 points, Broomhills 27.

Of Watton Farm, the consultants also note: “The area designated as Heritage Coastline in Local Plan adjoins the site and the Lower Eype Conservation Area is within 250m. Their setting could be adversely affected.”

“I’m shocked,” said Mark Shaw, a master thatcher who recently moved from Dorchester to one of the properties near the Eype picnic area.

“Crikey! I can think of much stronger expletives than that, but we’ll keep it at that, shall we?”    

All six sites will now be evaluated in a Stage 2 review.

A new facility is meant to provide an enhanced recycling service for people living in and around Bridport, as well as greater opportunities for local businesses to recycle and manage their waste. A waste transfer station would also allow refuse and recycled materials to be bulked up and taken on to processing facilities elsewhere.

Dorset County Council’s head of waste management Steve Burdis said:

“We have assessed in the region of 40 sites in our search to find the most suitable location for a much needed waste management facility in Bridport.

“Improving the household recycling and waste transfer facilities in the area has been a priority for the county council for some time, particularly as the current HRC site was only intended to be a temporary solution. As residents know, finding a suitable site is proving a complex issue with no simple solution.

“Throughout the process we have made a sincere effort to keep local people informed and involved, and as a result additional sites suggested by residents have also been evaluated.

“We will be holding further public information days before the Stage 2 review is completed, which we expect to be published later in the summer.”

Dorset County Council’s cabinet will make a final decision about which site should go forward for a planning application.

For more information from the council, or to read the volumnious Stage 1 and Stage 1A reports, click here

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