A NEW incinerator at Ford Airfield Industrial Estate was approved by the county council on Tuesday (July 22) despite hundreds of objections from residents.
Grundon received permission from West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) planning committee to convert the former Tarmac Topbloc buildings into a waste treatment facility and build a gasification plant next to it.
However, objections, including those from Arun District Council, Climping, Ford and Yapton parish councils and Littlehampton Town Council focused on an increase in lorry movements and concerns over road safety.
This was after the application was deferred by the committee in June to look at reducing the site’s operating hours, road safety issues at its entrance and exit, and potential conflicts with WSCC’s adopted Local Waste Plan.
At Tuesday’s meeting, held at Horsham’s County Hall North, Trevor Ford, chairman of Ford Parish Council, said: “I think this application is flawed. I have written pages and pages of objections every time it comes out. I think the technology they want to use is out of date. A lot has happened since the 1990s.”
Colin Humphris, chairman of Climping Parish Council, argued that lorry traffic from all of the businesses in Ford was having a cumulative impact on the area’s roads.
He added: “I’m sure each application only added a few percentage points to HGVs on the roads but our view is we are reaching a tipping point in terms of road safety.”
WSCC received 537 letters opposing the application, with just five in support.
Andrew Short, Grundon’s estates director, told members that their waste management facility would help WSCC meet its target of sending zero waste to landfill.
He said the gasification plant would generate the electricity equivalent to powering 29,000 homes, creating 200 jobs in the construction phase, and 60 during the facility’s operation.
Middleton UKIP councillor Joan Philipps said the area already experienced traffic problems with people using it as a shortcut to get from the A259 onto the A27, with plans in the pipeline to introduce traffic-calming and speed-reduction measures.
But councillors accepted the design was acceptable in principle, and while there was potential for some ‘adverse impacts’ to residents, plans were acceptable in terms of scale, appearance and highway safety.