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Conditional green light for West Sussex MRF

A Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) that would bring £5 million of capital investment and 73 jobs to West Sussex has received a conditional green light.

West Sussex County Council has granted consent to Viridor Waste Management which is partnering the body and its seven district councils for the construction of the MRF on the south western part of the Ford airfield site.

Viridor Waste Management project manager Phil Bines said: “We are delighted with this outcome. All along, we have considered Ford as the best possible place for a new state-of-the-art MRF in West Sussex and it’s extremely pleasing that the County Council’s planning committee has recognised the strength of our case and resolved to grant consent.”

A factor in the decision was the commitment to improve Church Lane, Ford Road and the roundabout on the A259 junction. This will improve traffic safety and flow, with Viridor also providing a traffic routeing scheme to limit the roads which its lorries use.

Bines added: “Our task now is to progress with all the preparatory work as quickly as possible, with a view to starting construction by the summer of 2006 and opening the MRF a year later. This is particularly important in view of the fact that the only existing MRF in West Sussex, at Sompting, is due to close in 2006.”

The application is under the Reclaim West Sussex brand and is part of a comprehensive package to ensure that less of the county’s waste is sent to landfill, meeting local, national and European recycling targets.

Because the move is formally deemed to be a departure from the Development Plan and the normal legal agreements, the decision is subject to a referral to the Secretary of State.

However, an Environment Impact Assessment that supported the successful planning application concluded that the areas surrounding the site would not suffer significant adverse effects and that the MRF would deliver a variety of benefits.

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