Call to ac­tion over coal de­pot re­cy­cling plant

Firm went back on its pledge not to de­velop site

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Alex Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­

WEST Dray­ton cam­paign­ers are call­ing on the public to get be­hind op­po­si­tion to a pro­posed re­cy­cling plant near the High Street.

Hilling­don Coun­cil is set to de­cide on the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion on Tues­day June 21 af­ter Pow­er­day Plc promised last year they would not pur­sue the project.

Pow­er­day sub­mit­ted a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion in De­cem­ber last year to de­mol­ish the ex­ist­ing Old Coal De­pot build­ings and con­struct a ‘Ma­te­ri­als Re­cov­ery Fa­cil­ity’ (MRF), de­spite a pledge in early 2015 not to de­velop the site.

Coun­cil­lors and res­i­dents have since banded to­gether to op­pose the plans in a five-year bat­tle and are call­ing on the public to at­tend the meet­ing next week to voice their con­cerns.

Res­i­dent of nearby Wim­pole Road, Dave Robins, said the is­sue is one of the big­gest in the area.

The 68-year-old said: “They think they are go­ing to wear us all down even­tu­ally. The area is on the up. The last thing we need is this thing caus­ing noise pol­lu­tion and traf­fic.

“It’ll ef­fect ev­ery­body for miles around. It would ruin the town re­ally.” Mr Robins, a re­tired li­brar­ian, said he would be at­tend­ing the meet­ing of the ma­jor ap­pli­ca­tions plan­ning com­mit­tee at the coun­cil of­fices next week.

Since be­ing sub­mit­ted the plans have been op­posed by politi­cians and res­i­dents, in­clud­ing the MP for Hayes and Har­ling­ton and Shadow Chan­cel­lor John McDon­nell.

In Fe­bru­ary, Mr McDon­nell penned a let­ter to Hilling­don Coun­cil pledg­ing to op­pose the scheme, say­ing it would have a ‘detri­men­tal im­pact’.

The site just off Tav­i­s­tock Road, which will in­cor­po­rate a re­cov­ery and re­cy­cling build­ing, stor­age bays and as­so­ci­ated car park­ing, land­scap­ing, fenc­ing and in­fra­struc­ture, will re­cover re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als such as plas­tics, glass and card­board from busi­nesses and house­holds. The site was pre­vi­ously re­jected by the coun­cil af­ter a 4,000-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion.

Res­i­dents have since been cam­paign­ing again and seven pe­ti­tions have been put to­gether, the largest of which has over 3,000 signatures. The site cov­ers around 13 acres, or the same as around seven foot­ball pitches.

West Dray­ton ward coun­cil­lor and sec­re­tary for the Gar­den City Es­tate Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion, Jan Sweet­ing, said: “This is the largest cam­paign in the south of the bor­ough ever, apart from Heathrow. [Res­i­dents] are re­ally re­ally up in arms about it.

“Most of the trans­port will be com­ing through the High Street. It’s al­ready grid­locked for many parts of the day. The noise pol­lu­tion is go­ing to be sub­stan­tial. We’ve got res­i­dences only 50 me­tres away from the plant.”

Cllr Sweet­ing said she hoped the coun­cil would re­ject the plans, and urged lo­cals to turn out next week to op­pose the ap­pli­ca­tion.

No one from Pow­er­day Plc was avail­able to com­ment.

The de­ci­sion is set to be made by the com­mit­tee in the Coun­cil Cham­ber in the Civic Cen­tre in High Street, Uxbridge, start­ing at 6.30pm on Tues­day next week.

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