A FINAL decision on plans to build a £40million indoor recycling centre in Brierley Hill will be made by the Planning Inspectorate after the firm behind the controversial scheme lodged an appeal.
Clean Power Properties wants to build a state-of-the-art energy recovery centre on old railway sidings off Moor Street but the proposal was thrown out in August last year by Dudley Council’s planning committee – following fierce objections from people living nearby.
However - the company, which is working to develop similar facilities at 12 other sites across the UK, has now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate based in Bristol to try and overturn the decision.
Residents living near the Brierley Hill site raised fears the proposed centre would put more lorries on already busy borough streets, create pollution and unpleasant odours and decrease house prices in the area.
But the company said the facility would bring up to 30 new jobs to the town and produce renewable energy for up to around 10,000 homes.
Bosses also stressed traffic movements would be limited to 70 vehicles a day – and speaking on behalf of the company at Dudley’s development control committee meeting last August, expert Dr Nick Davey, of environmental planning consultancy Entran Ltd, claimed worries about odour emissions were “unfounded and incorrect” and said the proposed building’s air tight design would mean no odours could escape.
However - councillors unanimously rejected the scheme which Cllr Qadar Zada said “would be a disaster for the borough”.
On hearing news of the appeal - Brierley Hill councillor Rachel Harris today (Monday) said ward councillors, who battled to see the plan rejected, remain “resolutely opposed to this application”.
She added: “We are aware many local residents do not want to see this application go through.
“A small group of residents and councillors will be forming an initial group to set out what we can do to fight this at this stage. We intend to meet this Wednesday evening to start the ball rolling as we have less than six weeks to influence the Planning Inspectorate’s decision.”
Anyone wishing to get involved with the campaign group can contact Cllr Harris by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
No-one from Clean Power Properties was available for comment today.