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Dump the Dump Press release 23 March 2006 - Protestors reject “new-look” plan for Brighton waste dump
Too little, too late and too much to ask of one community – that’s the reaction to the revised plan for a waste dump in Hollingdean, Brighton, from campaigners Dump the Dump.
Members of Dump the Dump met with John Collis and Nick Holland from Veolia (formerly Onyx Southdown) this week (March 20) to preview the new planning application (ref. no.BH2006/00900.
The company wants to build a Materials Recycling Facility (for recyclable materials such as glass, paper and tin foil) and a Waste Transfer Station (for storage and transportation of black bin bag waste from all Brighton and Hove to landfill and, in future, for incineration) at the former abattoir site in Hollingdean Lane, Brighton.
The new application results from a wide range of issues that were raised by the local community and Brighton & Hove City Council planning authorities, following the submission of the original plans in January 2005.
Now the public has just three weeks to respond to the new plan – and the 3,000-plus letters of objection sent to oppose the original plan will not count when the Council makes its final decision.
Dump the Dump leader Sandra Staufer, says: “It is absolutely vital that people act NOW to ensure that this second plan doesn’t slip through despite the best efforts of the thousands of people who have objected to the idea of a rubbish dump in Hollingdean. We implore everyone to write new letters to Brighton and Hove Council so that they get the message – again – that we think this dump is a rubbish idea.”
Dump the Dump’s initial reactions are:
1. Industrial scale: The new application does not include any major changes to the original plan. The application states that there will be a reduction in the maximum throughput capacity of the facility to 160,000 tonnes of refuse per annum (tpa) from the original 180,000, this is hardly significant. Moreover, the physical scale and size of the buildings are the same as in the first application. This will mean that the stated throughput can be increased in the future and that the buildings will be able to cope with this. How does this address residents’ fears that they will be engulfed by an industrial-size development?
2. Pollution on site, below Downs Infant School: The Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) next to the Downs Infant School and Ditchling Court apartment building will now have a green roof, which is supposed to suppress the noise and exhaust fumes from the unloading of vehicles. This element of the site is of great significance to the school and residents. It is noted that the pollutants will still be present in the atmosphere, in spite of the green roof.
3. Neighbourhood pollution: The new application acknowledges that the Downs Infant School is identified as a "significant receptor" of the pollution that the development will introduce to the immediate environment. The plan does not mention that, along with the school, the immediately adjacent local resident population will also be a recipient of the noise and air quality pollution.
4. Traffic nightmares: Transport issues are a major concern to residents and the new application does not offer any improvement to the impact that the development will have on the local road infrastructure. Veolia/Onyx admits that there will be a 0.5 per cent increase in the noise and air quality pollution at the Vogue Gyratory. They do not consider this to be significant. They do not mention that the 44 tonne juggernauts used to transfer rubbish and recyclables from the site will create a massive impact upon the local road network in Upper Hollingdean Road and Hollingdean Road and consequently a major health risk to the increasing local population.
5. Divide and rule?: The application is seen as divisive at a community level with Veolia/Onyx stating that they will, in conjunction with Brighton & Hove Cityclean, make special arrangements that both organisations' vehicles will be controlled in the use of Rugby Road. No mention or amelioration measures have been proposed for the roads that currently receive the major impact from the Cityclean fleet in Ditchling Road, Hollingdean Road, Upper Hollingdean Road, Roedale Road, Hollingbury Road, Fiveways and Vogue Gyratory. The increase caused by the Veolia/Onyx vehicles will only make the traffic situation worse. DTD ask the question, "Why is Veolia/Onyx dealing with a single street issue and not addressing the huge problems that the plans create for the rest of the community?"
Dump The Dump's verdict on the new application
Dump the Dump does not consider the new application, which will run in parallel with the old one until one of them is withdrawn, to offer any benefit or attention to the major issues raised by the local communities in opposing the original scheme. The original plans were discredited, the new ones offer no improvement.
This revised plan amounts to little more than cosmetic tweaking: Veolia/Onyx also claim that enough time has been spent listening to the public’s views. Yet the thousands of letters of objection written to the council will not count against this application because it is “new” and “different”. Veoila/Onyx are simply peddling the same old soap in different packaging – and it just won’t wash.
Dump the Dump also says that the new plans do not address the major environmental impact they will have on the local community. The over-intensification of industrial activity at a site that is positioned within a number of large residential communities has not been addressed in this new application. Veolia/Onyx and Cityclean still plan to increase activity in the area, with the subsequent major impact upon the local population. The local community has been ignored.