SO, in the end, after flocking in at the rate of two a minute, more than 400 people went to Bridport Town Hall to discuss the seven sites short-listed for a new waste management centre in the Bridport area.
Dorset County Council’s exhibition about the sites answered some urgent questions, but raised others.
- THE MUNICIPAL SEVEN
- From west to east: Miles Cross 1, Miles Cross 2, Eype Junction, Broomhills Farm, Gore Cross, Green Lane Nursery, Lilac Farm
For example, Steve Burdis, the council’s head of waste management, was able to explain to some people precisely what a waste transfer station is. In particular – and to paraphrase – it is not just another name for a landfill site with endless swarms of swooping gulls eager for tasty crud.
Mr Burdis showed visitors on the second day of the exhibition a picture of a new waste management centre in Whitchurch in Shropshire, which he oversaw before moving to Dorset.
I asked him for a copy of this picture and here it is.
It’s worth peering at closely. You might note, for example, how enclosed the main building is; how close it is to the homes just over from the thread of the railway line, between the trees; how much bigger it is than the current Household Recycling Centre (HRC) in South Street, Bridport.
A post-exhibition statement issued by Dorset County Council about this HRC said that residents were curious to know its fate. It only has planning permission until August 31, 2010.
What will happen if it’s forced to close? Especially as a new centre won’t be operational until Autumn 2013 - if everything goes to plan.
The official answer:
“The county council will be submitting a planning application to extend the temporary consent for the HRC for a further three years.
“It is hoped planning permission will be determined during the summer but if not, the site will remain open until a decision has been made.
“In the event that planning permission is not granted, the county council is currently looking at interim solutions to help minimise the disruption and inconvenience to residents should the site have to close.”
Robert Gould, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for the environment, commented on another issue.
“Feedback on Friday suggested people would have liked to have seen road design layouts for the seven sites. These are a currently in draft format and more detailed work will be undertaken once a site has been selected.
“However, we displayed the drafts on Saturday and we will also arrange for them to be available on dorsetforyou.com shortly along with the information boards displayed at the exhibition.”
The information boards were useful, in showing for example an aerial view of the location of Lilac Farm, east of Bridport and just north of the A35 on the so-called Walditch Plain.
“For those that took a form away the deadline for responses is 28 May 2010.”
The findings of the Stage 2 report will be presented to county council cabinet members this summer. They will decide which site should seek to advance through the planning system.
This is the timetable. Remember that people can comment on planning applications.
- Early Summer 2010, Stage 2 Report completed
- Early Summer 2010, Planning application submitted for a temporary extension to the South Street HRC
- Summer 2010, The Cabinet decides which site is to be progressed
- August 2010, Existing planning consent expires on the South Street HRC
- Summer 2011, Application submitted for preferred site
- Winter 2011, Planning permission granted
- Spring 2012, Works begin on site
- Autumn 2013, Works completed and site operational
For further information from the county council visit www.dorsetforyou.com/westwasteplan