Dear Mr Cryer I understand you are considering the application for a permit to operate a waste transfer station at London Road East, Amersham, Bucks. I would like to object to this application on the following grounds Residential environment First and foremost, this is a residential area. There are houses directly adjoining the site and many more close-by along Amersham Road, Bottom House Farm Lane, Cokes Lane and on London Road itself. These are close enough to hear, see and smell the site and the disturbance to residents is likely to be considerable. Common sense tells us that this is not a suitable operation for a residential area and I understand that the Environment Agency guideline state that WTSs should not be placed within 250m of residential properties. I would urge you to apply this guideline in this case. I understand the applicant has produced examples of other WTS sites situated closer than 250m to housing. Our investigation of these sites shows that in each case, the sites are in the middle of very large industrial estates and either no housing exists as close as the applicant claims or the housing was built after the WTS was built. Green Belt / AONB The site is in the Green Belt and AONB. It has been claimed by the applicant that the site is brownfield but any previous use ceased decades ago and the land has been allowed to return to nature. It's not an unformed, untouched heaven for badgers, bats and nesting kites. Noise and types of noise. It seems the sound modelling data presented by the application is based on low frequency noise from the trucks and diggers (and at idle at that). One of my great concerns is that the higher-pitched noise of reversing beepers and the scraping of a metal digger shovel will be clearly audible and highly irritating in residents’ houses and gardens. These noises will be almost continuous throughout the operational day. We see from blogs and websites from other campaign groups that the doors at supposedly closed WTS sites are often left open during the working day, in contravention of the restriction placed on them. Height The site stands 8m above the surrounding valley floor. The proposed building will be 12m high. Its roof will therefore tower 20m above the gardens of the local residents on Amersham Rd. It will be even more intrusive for those residents in the houses adjoining the site whose current view over green land will become completely dominated by this site. Footpaths The site is immediately adjacent to, and higher than, the South Bucks Way. There is a network of other footpaths throughout the Misbourne Valley and the overlooking hills which have views down onto this site. Risk of leaching to the Misbourne and aquifers The site sits next to the river Misbourne which is of particular interest, being a chalk stream. The plans allow for run-off from the tarmac into a small settlement lagoon and then into the Misbourne. The operator already has convictions for allowing waste to pollute waterways and aquifers at other sites and we fear that accidents will happen here too. The aquifer below and surrounding the site is used for drinking water abstraction. Judging by the applicants own diagrams, the site will need 1,200 piles driven up to a depth of 8.9m through waste material that sits underneath the sire. This has great potential for the leaching of harmful chemicals. Smell The site will produce smell. The rubbish collected will have been sitting in bins for up to 2 weeks. However well-run the site is, the rubbish will already smell when it is deposited on the floor of the building. This smell will be released as it is shovelled, scooped and dropped into the back of a bulk loader. This will be a disturbance to the local residents and those using the South Bucks Way and Ivy House pub. We suspect that if biofilters are not mandated from the outset, residents will be powerless to enforce their addition after operation begins. Dust and wind-blown rubbish The site and the associated lorries will generate a great deal of dust and windblown rubbish which will add to the disturbance to the local residents and the river. Traffic safety The site will add to the already heavy traffic at a dangerous bend. The road is used by many children on their journey to and from school by bus and they will be travelling at times which coincide with the heaviest site traffic. They will also have to cross the road at least once a day. The roadside footpaths are limited and overgrown, forcing pedestrians into the road in places near the site. No provision is being made to improve these matters. If roadside collection vehicles queue to get into the site, (as they currently do at the landfill site a few miles away that this effectively replaces) it is hard to see how this could happen without posing a considerable risk and inconvenience to other traffic. Lighting The plans involve 24/7 security lighting. This is an area without street lights and quite free from current light pollution. Oversizing The operating capacity applied for, 85 ktpa, is significantly greater than the projected requirement of BCC domestic waste from the area, 23 ktpa. The design is for 125 ktpa which seems very strange to us if the operating capacity is truly to be limited to 85 ktpa. The application is oversized as compared to any need that the County Council has.
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