Veolia Environmental Services’ appeal against the decision by Nottinghamshire county council to refuse planning permission for a composting facility adjacent to a food processing and packaging facility has been rejected by the planning inspectorate as a potential risk to human health.
In his decision to reject the appeal for the proposed open-windrow composting facility at Inkersall Grange Farm, near Bilsthorpe, planning inspector Terrence Kemmann-Lane wrote: “I am persuaded that the proposed development has the potential to actually risk human health and contamination of product at the adjacent food processing and packaging unit, or human health of neighbouring residential occupiers.
“The science to support this is reasonably persuasive, whilst present scientific understanding of bioaerosols, the way they behave and their health impacts does not provide suitable methodology for carrying out adequate quantitative site specific bioaerosols risk assessment for new composting facilities, which would provide reassurance. I conclude that the precautionary principle should be determinative.”
The proposed facility would have handled 35,000 tonnes of municipal green waste a year, and the compost storage bins would have been sited close to Fresh Growers - a business which washes, processes and packages vegetables grown by local farmers.
Veolia Environmental Services managing director Steve Mitchell said: “Of course we are disappointed, but there remains a strong case for the county of Nottinghamshire having its very own composting facility. We will continue to explore the best sites and technology; and we remain dedicated to delivering this long term commitment.
“The facility that we proposed at Inkersall Grange would have helped make significant steps towards higher recycling levels, but we respect the decision of the Inspector and thank all parties involved in the planning process.”
The unanimous decision by Nottinghamshire county council to reject planning permission for the facility came in 2009, despite recommendations from the council’s planning officers to allow the application.