The application by waste management and recycling company Yorwaste was for a 12 month composting trial operating from Gateforth Park Farm, near the village of Thorpe Willoughby.
A large number of residents from the village attended the councils planning and regulatory functions committee meeting held yesterday, including two villagers who walked 50 miles to the meeting pushing wheelie bins in protest.
The site was previously home to a different composting operation, which mixed manure to produce nutrients for mushrooms. It closed four years ago, after persistent complaints of smells from residents. Resident opposition to the new trial was so strong that a campaign group Residents Action to Stop Trial By Yorwaste (RATTY) was set up. It said the site would be a health hazard and subject villagers to foul smells.
Speaking after the committees decision, Yorwaste recycling and external affairs manager John Miller said: We were particularly disappointed given the fact that the council officers had recommended approval. We believed we had addressed all the concerns related to the technology.
He added that the proposed facility bore no resemblance to the sites previous one, as it used sealed units to contain the smells.
Chairman of the committee county councillor John Fletcher said: The members voted against it because they had a lot of issues that they felt were not resolved. Yorwaste gave a number of assurances, but the members felt that without absolute guarantees, it would be wrong to ignore those issues.
Although the committee decided the potential effect on local residents was unacceptable, it may not be the end of the saga. Miller said: We are considering our options and cant rule out an appeal.