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Regulator challenges waste transfer station

2000 easter langlee waste transfer

Plans for a waste transfer station (WTS), drafted after the failure of the New Earth Solutions (NES) gasification facility, are being challenged by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) on water, odour and noise concerns.

Scottish Borders Council is seeking an appropriate new use for its Easter Langlee landfill site. Original plans for the gasification scheme at the site were cancelled, partly because of Scotland’s greater emphasis on recycling. NES’s parent companies subsequently failed.

Sepa says its objections to the planning application for a WTS are because of a lack of information, and it will review its position if the issues are addressed.

“This information is necessary to inform the planning application and to ensure that any development given planning permission sets a physical framework for operations which can be authorised by Sepa under separate regulatory regimes,” Sepa said.

“We also advise the applicants to provide additional information to demonstrate that this site is free of flood risk and that developing this site, as proposed, will not lead to increased flood risk elsewhere.”

Sepa says the noise assessment does not appear to have taken into account the noise from reversing beepers on vehicles and should be revised.

Odour modelling is said to be “very uncertain” due to its subjective nature.

“We consider the odour assessment should focus on the abatement and reduction of odour emissions rather than focus on the modelling. We have seen cases where modelling has predicted no odour nuisance where, in reality, there has been an odour nuisance.”

Transport consultancy Goodson Associates has submitted a revised report saying the proposed WTS will “integrate well” with the existing transport network. 

The report says the proposed facility will generate three additional vehicle trips and, even at full capacity, the WTS “will generate less traffic than for the previously consented NES proposal (approx. 17% less)”.

Two neighbours have complained about the consultants’ calculations.

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