A DRAFT waste plan for West Sussex remains “sound” despite the withdrawal of one of six sites suggested for waste disposal developments, the county planning committee was told.
Members heard that land at Decoy Farm, Worthing, had been taken out of the document following an objection from the borough council, which owns the site.
But they were told this did not mean a waste use there could not go forward at some point in the future. Meanwhile, the sites still in the plan provided the capacity anticipated to be needed.
Decoy Farm had been suggested for a waste faciity dealing with 50,000 tonnes a year. Strategic planning manager Mike Elkington said the draft plan still survived despite this loss. “The plan is still sound,” he declared.
The plan will now go forward to the full county council on October 19, which will decide whether it should be put out to full-scale public consultation before final decisions are made.
The five suggested sites remaining in the plan are: north of the wastewater treatment works at Ford; Hobbs Barn, near Climping; former fuel depot in Bognor Road, Chichester; Brookhurst Wood, Horsham; and west of wastewater treatment works at Goddards Green.
The planning committee was told Worthing’s primary objective was to seek relocation of a bus depot to the Decoy Farm site.
But it recognised the future potential for waste, depending on the feasibility of accommodating the bus depot or other employment uses. Mr Elkington said there had been strong local support for the plan’s vision – moving waste up the hierarchy, and away from landfill.
However, there was general opposition to site locations, particularly the one at Goddards Green.
There were concerns about HGV movements and the impact on residents and on health – all very normal concerns.
There were also some landowners asking for their sites to go into the plan.
A key change was that Worthing no longer wanted Decoy Farm to go forward. “We have to respond to their wishes as landowner,” said Mr Elkington.
The general approach in the pln was to locate new facilities where the waste arose.
He added: “The plan you have in front of you is sound. There are bound to be people who are not happy with it, but the fact that someone is not happy does not mean it is not sound.”
Councillor Steve Waight said it was clear the five sites now suggested provided the capacity anticipated to be required over the plan period.
“The plan as proposed is in my view robust, and well underpinned,” he said. “The five sites all look deliverable to me.”