Applicant 1st Choice intends to keep some buildings on site, including this office block. Credit: via planning documents

Macc recycling hub returns to committee

Neil Tague

Cheshire East’s strategic planning board is now recommended to approve plans for the facility, deferred in June amid fervent opposition.

On that initial application, the local authority’s planning officers had recommended refusal, although there is no issue with the proposal in allocation terms within the local plan.

Previously used as a vehicle recovery depot, the site sits on the edge of an established industrial estate, and the applicant 1st Choice Waste & Metals intends to use several buildings already on site.

Already operational at Moss Lane in the town, 1st Choice needs to move due to its current site being required for housing, so the protection of 40 jobs is also a factor in play.

The intention is for the site to be used as a recycling centre for the tipping, sorting and storage of dry, non-hazardous mixed general wastes from household, commercial, construction and demolition sources from the applicant’s collections around the Macclesfield area.

The proposal, which is being assessed by the council’s top planning committee after being referred up from the local northern committee last year, aroused a welter of opposition ahead of its earlier hearings, with 250 objections coming from individuals, along with Macclesfield Town Council and two councillors.

Much of the debate in June, and many of the objections, refer to the potential volume of heavy goods vehicle traffic, and that other access points should be considered.

In response, officers point out that alternative access points have been discounted, and that the site was allowed to operate in its previous role without any limits on HGV traffic.

At June’s meeting, the applicant proposed a limit on HGV trips: 50 a day (25 in, 25 out) – reduced from 70. 1st Choice also proposed a routing plan to keep traffic from terraced streets for its vehicles, which will make up virtually all of the site traffic

Documentation since provided by the applicant’s advisor Oaktree Environmental puts those commitments in black and white.

The officers’ report concludes that with the “fallback” position of the site’s previous use allowing unlimited traffic, refusal would likely mean defeat for the council at appeal.

Officers said that although there could be some harm to amenity associated with HGV movements, “these impacts are not sufficient on their own to warrant refusal of the application and are outweighed by the significant strategic and economic benefits presented by the proposal”.

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The trucks would need to travel down narrow roads, that have weight limits for vehicles. The only access to the site is via a tight turn on narrow roads, with cars parked on the roads. The real amount of vehicles to the site is 162 journeys daily. That’s 1 lorry every 6 minutes. The site access is highly unsuitable for heavy lorries.

By Melanie

Previous use was not high volume of HGV, this is supposed to a residential area, the industrial estate is moving closer and closer to the housing easte with no consideration to the families that live there.

By Wendy

This proposal is an absolute joke. To site a recycling centre (a rubbish tip) in the middle of a residential area is nothing but outrageous. The only access available to the trucks that will be needed to transport the waste will be down narrow residential roads and the main one being a small residential cut-de-sac. The only reason that 1st choose waste is having to find new premises is that they sold their other site to developers to make a whole load of money. They then chose this site as it was cheaper than the many other sites that were available. Sites that would not have affected nearby residents. This is a total farce and I am very surprised that Cheshire East have not used this opportunity to try and repair their very dodgy reputation by doing the right thing and siding with the many, many residents of this estate who are constantly working hard to keep their estate a pleasant place to live.

By Neil

This site is in the middle of a housing estate, the wagons would cause terrible danger to local children playing /travelling to school, the roads to the site struggle with traffic now and are not wide enough for two cars let alone trucks, local residents are against this proposal, not only will it cause disruption and congestion it’s not good for the health of local residents . The planned route has problems already and the road leading to the entrance has parking issues and is a very slim road already vehicles go up onto the grass verge. Planners should visit the site then they would see how totally unsuitable it is.

By Karen Jones