Compost site finally gets nod

A CONTROVERSIAL compost plant has been given the green light to carry on operating after a rollercoaster planning process.

Thursday, 12th April 2012, 3:30 pm

On Tuesday Lincolnshire County Councillors approved an application from Land Network Gainsborough to compost green waste on Sturgate Airfield, off Cow Lane at Upton.

The decision had been agreed at the last planning committee meeting on 12th March.

But concerns that the decision-making procedures had not been properly conducted led the council to overturn the decision and bring it back to April’s meeting.

Land Network Gainsborough wanted retrospective planning permission to process 74,999 tonnes of green waste per year.

A previous breach of planning regulations meant it had to re-apply for permission.

The company is contracted to compost green waste from West Lindsey District Council’s household collections.

The compost, a field conditioner, is then spread on the owner’s 700 acres of surrounding farm land.

Despite hundreds of complaints and official objections about odour, noise, traffic, dust and flies, councillors still decided to approve the application - albeit with stringent conditions.

Even Lincoln Aero Club, which shares Sturgate Airfield with the compost site, had written to object on grounds of safety due to the increased risk of ‘bird strike’.

The site previously processed 17,325 tonnes of compost each year.

Now councillors have imposed a condition that it must not receive more than 40,000 tonnes of green waste a year.

Conditions also limit noise, dust and the intake of paper, cardboard and wood into the site.

Lorries must not travel through Heapham and Springthorpe, and materials must not be stored or stockpiled higher than three metres.