Plans for large recycling centre in Normandy approved despite road safety concerns

January 8, 2018
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Objections from more than 60 people fell on deaf ears when controversial plans to build a large recycling centre in Normandy were approved.

TGM Environmental won permission to set up a paper and cardboard recycling centre on green belt land in Cobbett Hill Road.

The company’s plans were approved by Surrey County Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (December 13), despite more than 60 objections.

However, the centre, which can process up to 10,000 tonnes of waste paper and 5,000 tonnes of waste cardboard a year, was operational before the decision was made.

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It now receives up to 174 visits from heavy goods vehicles per week, but TGM says lorries over 7.5 tonnes will not access the site via the A323.

At the meeting, Ross Dibsall, who lives in Cobbett Hill, told the committee the site was not suitable for the development and raised concerns about road safety.

He said the roads leading into the site are too narrow for heavy goods vehicles as they are “only about 2.2 metres wide” and said the large vehicles could “veer into the opposite carriageway”.

He added: “We are here to oppose this development. TGM are clearly already accessing the area, as can be seen from the video footage and my own personal viewings. I have seen the lorries go up and down the road.

“Therefore, if they are already flouting these rules why would they stick to any of the guidelines in the applications?

“Ultimately I believe they will not.”

While Nick Williams, who also lives near the site, said: “We can expect a large increase in HGVs in our village, which is highly detrimental to our environment.”

Cobbett Hill Road in Normandy
(Image: Google)

He continued: “Furthermore, the Cobbett Hill junction with the A324 is highly dangerous. I know this because I cross it all the time.

“Even with a nippy car, it’s a nightmare.

“Traffic is fast moving down this very straight road and unsuitable for large lorries turning into it.

“The most compelling evidence for problems ahead, comes from three residents in Cobbett Hill Road.

“HGVs are flouting the law, coming up from the south end, ignoring the restriction. A video taken this Monday, already sent to you, shows this beyond any doubt.

“I’m told by residents, this is a common occurance. It seems the recycling has already started, or something has already started.”

However, Councillor Keith Taylor then reassured the objectors that the council would take action against unruly lorry drivers.

He said: “We’re realists, we accept that we’re never going to be absolutely certain that the odd lorry driver might disobey instructions.

“But where there is a consistent pattern of such conditions being ignored, we have demonstrated in a number of instances that I can think of, our ability to take effective enforcement action.”

‘We will be good neighbours to the residents of Cobbett Hill’

Robert White, operations manager for TGM, also attempted to reassure objectors at the meeting.

He said the company had successfully operated a similar centre on the West Horsely Place Estate for 20 years, but it was told to vacate the site 12 months ago so the estate could undergo a redevelopment.

Mr White said the new base will allow the company to “service the customer base” it has established in the Guildford and Farnham area.

He also told the planning committee that the company had operated in West Horsely “without causing any disturbance or disruption to local residents and the management of the estate” for two decades.

He added: “I can understand that local residents in Cobbett Hill may have reservations about waste development.

“However, I would like to reassure them that our operations are managed to the highest environmental standards and controls in our industry.

“Just as we were good neighbours to the Duchess of Roxburghe and residents of West Horsley, we will be good neighbours to the residents of Cobbett Hill.”

The plans for the recycling centre were ultimately approved by a majority decision.

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Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/plans-large-recycling-centre-normandy-14051545


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