COMPOST DUMP HEALTH FEARS

Westby Lane awsworth residents campaigning about waste recycling plant.
Westby Lane awsworth residents campaigning about waste recycling plant.

WORRIED residents in Newthorpe and Awsworth say two planning applications to dump compost at new waste recycling plants have left them fearing for their health.

Applications have been submitted to dump large amounts of compost near the sewerage works off Halls Lane in Newthorpe and in farmland off Westby Lane in Awsworth and residents are concerned about the health risks associated with airborne pollutants they fear will come off the site.

Wendy Lewis, of Sussex Close, off Halls Lane, said: “I won’t be happy if this goes ahead.

“The wind always prevails from the west and there’s nothing to block the pollutants.

“There’s nothing to shelter us from it. Let’s hope they stop it.”

Plans for Awsworth are on an even larger scale than those for Newthorpe, and the village’s tenants’ and residents’ association has launched a petition to fight the plans.

Association secretary Emma Torrance said the compost would be ‘turned’ once week, which would create dust and pollution in the atmosphere. She also claims an application for a similar site in Bilsthorpe was recently turned down because planners could not prove airborne pollutants would not have an adverse affect on people’s health.

Aside from the health concerns, the Awsworth protesters are up-in-arms about the 32-tonne trucks carrying the compost that would have to pass through the village and drive down Westby Lane, where there are residential properties.

“It’s a country lane used by dog walkers, horse riders and cyclists. No-one wants huge lorries trundling past them,” Ms Torrance said. “The Awsworth bypass was built to avoid traffic coming through Awsworth and Cossall and all of a sudden the whole point of this is negated.”

The A610 near Newthorpe will mean the trucks would only have to pass over a small section of bridleway to access that site but residents in nearby properties are still concerned about the plan – especially as the proposed site sits next to a sports ground where various teams including Moorgreen Colts play.

As well as launching a petition, Awsworth Tenants’ and Residents’ Association distributed leaflets around the area and surveyed residents.

The group stood at the bottom of Westby Lane last Sunday telling people about the plans because there have been no letters sent out and they claim public notices have been ‘barely visible’.

Ms Torrance said: “Out of about 70 people we questioned, only two or three even knew about it.

“There’s been no parish council meeting about it because of the elections and the closing date for objections is at the beginning of June in just a few days.

“Everyone is in a complete panic about it. They’re strongly opposed to it and had no idea.”

The 40-year-old campaigner said there were alternative ways of composting waste that should have been looked in to.

“There are ways of composting waste so it is contained and turned into slurry,” she said.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s principle planning officer Jonathan Smith said: “It’s very early in the process and until I get comments back from the highways authority and the environment agency it is difficult to comment.

“They will be key in determining the application.”

The applications have both been submitted by Alfreton firm HW Martin Ltd.

The Advertiser tried to contact the applicant but failed to get a comment.