(pictured with Spaldington residents)
Great news for Spaldington! An application by a local agricultural composter at Ivy House Farm near the Water Tower, to remove planning conditions that would allow him ‘to increase the type of stinking waste he can take in’ was unanimously thrown out by East Riding of Yorkshire Council Planning Committee. This was against the recommendations of the Council’s Planning Officers.
Spaldington resident Kath Westin spoke on behalf of the community describing vividly the foul smell which often engulfs the village. As their Howdenshire ward Councillor it was a pleasure for me to sum up and speak in support of Spaldington and Eastrington residents. I pointed out that to allow more animal bi-product waste streams, such has flesh from the tannery industry onto the site would have a serious adverse impact on the living conditions of nearby residents with respect to odour, and it was in conflict with both national and local planning policies. The applicant’s agent didn’t bother turning up for the meeting.
I felt this application was almost exactly the same as one refused by the Planning Committee in 2008 – which was subsequently appealed by the Composter, but the Planning Inspector came down on the side of the Committee in upholding their decision. The planning inspector had said “Planning policies indicate that the likely impact on the local environment and on amenity should be considerations when determining planning applications for waste management facilities” and that “it may be appropriate to use planning conditions to control aspects of the development, including impacts such as odour, where these impact on neighbouring land uses and sensitive receptors”. The Inspector also stated that he considered the present conditions to be “reasonable and necessary, and sufficiently precise to be enforceable.”
Many of you will recall I presented a motion to EYRC on the agricultural composting industry, leading to a detailed examination by the then Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee in March 2008. (for more information please click here ). Since then we have seen a great improvement in practices of many composters throughout the East Riding – unfortunately I don’t feel we have seen much improvement in this composter’s operation. Quite simply Ivy House Farm stinks, it has for a number of years – and depending on which way the wind blows - so does Spaldington and Eastrington, and I failed to see that bearing in mind this composter’s operation stinks now with the present limits on what he can take in – imagine what it would have been like if he had been given carte blanch to bring anything and everything onto the site.
Who is the regulatory body supposed to protect residents when it comes to the potential nasty effects of agricultural composting of animal bi-products? – It’s the Environment Agency. Many will know that I’ve witnessed first-hand just how poor they are when it comes to regulating composters (and also a particular landfill site) – I certainly wouldn’t and can’t believe that any resident would want to leave it solely to the EA to protect Spaldington or Eastrington from the smell of death (as described by one of the Planning Committee members). I stressed that I wanted the ERYC to continue to play its part (and its duty) in regulating this site through the planning conditions already in place. This point was taken up by members of the Planning Committee in support of the refusal.
There had been 50 letters of opposition to this application which clearly showed people are sick of the smell created by this site as it is – I cannot imagine the impact on them if this was to have been made worse had planning consent been given.
Well done and many thanks to residents, Spaldington Parish Council and particularly the ERYC Planning Committee members for seeing this application for exactly what it was, and throwing it out!