Extension to Lytham waste sorting site gets the go-ahead

The Lidun Park Industrial Estate in Lytham
The Lidun Park Industrial Estate in Lytham

A waste transfer plant in Fylde has been told it can build an extension to make its sorting process more efficient.

The new building - to be added to the existing Gillett Environmental unit on the Lidun Park Industrial Estate in Lytham - will also largely enclose the facility’s operations.

Currently, vehicles bringing non-hazardous, household and commercial material onto the site drop it off in an area which is already being used for sorting.

A meeting of Lancashire County Council’s development control committee heard that “tipped waste sometimes overlaps with sorted loads, [meaning] that material is sometimes sorted more than once”.

But there was controversy over a claim by a local resident that the new unit would enable an “astonishing” 700 percent increase in the amount of material passing through the site.

Simon Hornshaw said locals could “not comprehend” how planning permission had ever been granted for the development - and said the extension would make matters worse.

“We are sure [you have been provided with] photos of dust clouds rising from the plant and particles appearing on previously-washed cars,” Mr. Hornshaw said.

“What are we breathing in when this plant is operating? These [things] constitute an unacceptable risk to public health, especially for children and the elderly.”

But the meeting heard the 700 percent figure was not one that planning officers recognised.

"The thing that controls throughput is the mechanised [sorting machine] and that’s not being changed - so I’d be very surprised if the new building would increase [capacity] to any significant extent,” principal planning officer, Jonathan Haine, said.

“Tipping and sorting [which is currently done outside] would be done undercover - this building would have some benefits in that regard.”

Members approved the application by a majority after hearing that issues of noise and air pollution are governed by an Environment Agency-issued permit for the site - something which would have to be varied if the operator did expect to increase the volume of material which it processes.