Villagers will fight new compost plant

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

A PLAN to build a compost recycling plant near Awsworth has left worried villagers fearing for their health.

The plant, which would see compost dumped on farmland off Westby Lane, Babbington, would give off harmful airborne pollutants, concerned residents have argued.

Awsworth’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, creating dust and pollution.

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

Aside from health concerns, the protesters are up-in-arms about 32-tonne trucks carrying the compost, which would have to pass through the village and down Westby Lane, where there are people’s homes.

“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.”

Ms Torrance claimed an application for a similar site in Bilsthorpe near Mansfield has been turned down because planners could not prove airborne pollutants would not adversely affect people’s health.

The residents’ association have distributed leaflets and surveyed residents at the bottom of Westby Lane last Sunday. They claim no letters have been sent out and public notices are ‘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.”

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 application has been submitted by Alfreton firm HW Martin. The Advertiser tried to contact the firm but failed to get a comment.