Fears new recycling site could be a ‘blight’ on Louth

Concerns have been raised by councillors in Louth that a proposed new recycling site on the town’s industrial estate could become a ‘blight’ on the area.

GBM Metals Recycling have put forward plans to develop an existing waste management and demolition site on the Fairfield Industrial Estate into a ‘materials recovery facility’ which would recycle, process and store scrap metal and vehicles which have reached the end of their life.

And despite voting to support the application on Tuesday, March 12, councillors raised a number of concerns about the site which would store and treat around 50,000 tonnes of metal each year.

According to the developer the 0.7 hectare site is currently used as a storage yard for GBM operations with much of the site consisting of open areas of hardstanding.

Coun Eileen Ballard was in favour of the plan. “This is a town where we want to promote jobs and growth,” she said.

“We need to be sensible about this.”

But Coun David Wing disagreed, he said he feared the site would become a ‘very big car scrapyard’.

“It would be a legal scrapyard,” assured Coun Pauline Watson.

“It is on an industrial estate and that is what it is for if it is done by the rules.”

Coun Brian Burnett continued the debate, fearing for the image of the surrounding area if cars were allowed to be stacked high.

“I do have concerns about this. It’s an industrial estate, that’s true,” he said.

“But I feel if we have cars stacked three high it will blight that area, it needs to be very very carefully considered.”

The developer hopes to ease such concerns by including a four metre high fence along the southern boundary of the site to provide ‘necessary attenuation and screening’.

Coun Laura Stephenson revealed her fears that the site would be too close to the town centre. “I’ve been to many scrapyards in my time but I’ve always gone out of town to get to them,” she said.

Coun Eileen Ballard continued: “There are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay for brand new car parts, people need to use these sorts of scrapyards.”

But Coun Trevor Marris, chairman of the planning and environment committee, told her there was nothing in the application which referred to the ‘selling of items’.

Coun Ballard proposed the council approved the plans but with regard to the concerns raised, as well as a condition of a new noise assessment being carried out, which was voted through with 11 councillors in favour.

The application will now go forward to Lincolnshire County Council who will have the final say.