At the meeting yesterday (1st May 2008) of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Planning Committee the application by a Spaldington composter/farmer to increase the range of waste materials he could compost and also to increase the days he is allowed to spread compost on his fields was thrown out. This is a committee on which I sit, but because of my involvement in the campaign on behalf of Howdenshire residents I was allowed to speak but NOT to vote. Therefore I would like to thank my fellow members from all parties for their decision.
This is very good news for residents of Spaldington, Eastrington and other communities who have to put up with the stench from this site as it is, without having an already diabolical situation made worse.
I would just like to say that the applicant, through his agent refused to allow me as a member of the Planning Committee to attend the site visit to inspect his operation the day before, I decided not to push this issue, but I do wonder why I was singled out from the rest of the committee? Was it because I have a good basic knowledge of composting and may have asked a difficult question, seen something I shouldn’t have, or had the applicant got something to hide. If everything was in order and above board what had he to fear? I will leave it for you to decide…..
I am led to believe from members that the applicant had made a special effort to clean his facility as some ‘photographers’ were due on site. Residents confirmed this cleaning had been continuing the previous day. It is also alleged that compost had been recently been moved from the composting sheds to the maturation heaps in the fields.
Many remember the foot and mouth epidemic in 2001, when it was later found the origins of the disease came from contaminated meat products in pigswill, a process which is now banned. So my question here was: Why was a farmer hoping to bring into our communities those self and same ingredients once used in this now banned process, from other parts of the country to be introduced into this composing process?
Let’s be clear here…. This application was a request by a composter to increase the ingredients he takes in to include; starch products, beef burgers, fleece trimmings, pet food by-products, bakery products including pizza, tannery scrapings, prawn shells and sewage sludge. This is from a farmer who raises livestock on the same site. I cannot comprehend the sense in even thinking about doing this - and neither could the Planning Committee.
Local MP David Davis adds:
“I am delighted at this result. It will be a relief to the people of the surrounding area. I hope it will be reflected in other planning decisions of this nature.”