Potential waste sites were identified across East Sussex – including one at Ridgewood and one at Maresfield – at an exhibition in Uckfield yesterday.
The county council is consulting on a strategy for dealing with commercial and industrial waste as it moves away from using landfill and land raise.
Mr David Vickers, a council planning officer manning the exhibition at Uckfield Library yesterday, said the strategy did not identify specific types of facility for individual areas. It would be up to contractors to come forward with proposals for development of the sites and planning permission would have to be sought in the usual way.
Land identified as suitable for waste management includes Ridgewood Farm where there are plans to build 1,000 homes a school and employment space.
“Opportunities” for the site are said to include:
- Potential to connect to major heat users
- Potential to connect to National Grid
- Opportunity for co-location of waste management facilities
- Opportunities for utilising sustainable modes of transport (rail and/or water).
But it is pointed out in the plan that development of this site, without mitigation, may have a negative effect on the amenity of residents and neighbouring land uses.
Land at Maresfield Camp (Ashdown Business Park) is also included in the strategy, again described as giving the “opportunity” for the site to be connected to the National Grid.
Potential obstacles there include proximity to the Ashdown Forest and other protected areas and part of the site being a flood risk area.
When the new Waste and Minerals Sites Plan was discussed by Uckfield town councillors earlier this month Cllr Paul Sparks warned that what were described as “energy recovery units” by the county were what people called incinerators.
And at the exhibition Mr Vickers said there was nothing to stop a private individual coming forward saying they would like to build an incinerator on one of the sites but “the costs would be enormous”.
He added an incinerator would have to be fed over a long period of time to recover the initial outlay and It was “pretty unlikely” that would happen.
He also reiterated the strategy was about commercial and industrial waste and not municipal waste which was dealt with at an incinerator at Newhaven.
“Putting products together is manufacturing. Taking them apart is waste,” said Mr Vickers.
Recovery and recycling
There was a need for recovery and recycling sites and the types of waste that needed to be dealt with included recycling packaging from shops and taking computers apart.
There might also be a need to crushing concrete from construction sites into smaller components that could be used in another way, perhaps for road building.
That type of site could be noisy and dusty and Mr Vickers said there was “no way” that all the sites identified in the strategy would be suitable for an operation like that because of individual constraints.
Any proposal would have to go through the planning process he stressed.
County councillor Chris Dowling said there was no planning application relating to a waste site at Ridgewood at the moment. This was a strategy which may or may not go further. “If matters go further I would support residents with their concerns,” he said.
The consultation on the Waste and Minerals Sites Plan runs until Wednesday, December 23. Full details can be found on the county council website.