Villagers’ anger at Upton proposal

Residents of Upton meet to discuss the expansion of the West Lindsey Sturgate Composting site.  Meeting led by Jo Chapman G111028-2b
Residents of Upton meet to discuss the expansion of the West Lindsey Sturgate Composting site. Meeting led by Jo Chapman G111028-2b

CONCERNED residents of Upton and Heapham are up in arms about a planning proposal for a nearby composting site.

In 2007, the composting and treatment facility at Sturgate Airfield, Upton, near Gainsborough was granted conditional planning permission for processing 74,999 tonnes of waste.

The site, owned by Land Network Gainsborough Ltd, was given 15 conditions to follow but breached two, so are now re-applying.

At a heated residents’ meeting at the Rose and Crown in Upton, Jo Chapman said she was concerned about traffice: “This would have a terrible impact on Upton, and by our estimates it could mean over 50 lorries passing through Upton each day.”

“With the extra lorries it would be an accident waiting to happen.”

A Heapham resident added: “Our issues in our village are the odour, as well as the flies, the dust, the noise and the nuisance - it’s absolutely disgusting.”

A petition with hundreds of signatures was also revealed and residents were urged to write to Lincs County Council.

However, director of Land Network Gainsborough Ltd Philip Bates said he had no plans to increase his operation and that traffic would not be affected.

“I’ve had people writing to me who are in favour and can’t see anything wrong in what we’re doing,” he said. “I can’t understand what noise people are talking about, other than vehicles reversing. We have a shredder but we only run that for four days a month.”

“As for the smell, we do try our hardest and I can’t really say whether there is any smell coming from it - there is some days but I can’t say if it’s nasty or unpleasant.”

“The application says that we can have ‘up to 74,999 tonnes’ but that doesn’t mean we’re going to,” he said. “We’re just seeking to confirm the planning application that was made four years ago that we made an error on.”

A spokesman from the Environment Agency said: “There were two breaches of the permit on odour earlier in the year when the site took in waste which was later identified as particularly smelly and which has not been accepted since.”

“Following this, we made 20 visits between March and July to the area where the complaints came from. On six of those visits odour was detected but none at levels to breach the permit conditions.”

Lincolnshire County Council development manager Neil McBride urged anyone with further comments on the proposals to get in touch at the earliest opportunity.