Angry residents turned out in force for a public meeting about the proposed closure of Seaford tip on Friday night (November 15).
More than 350 people attended the meeting held at Seaford Baptist Church to voice their views about the plan.
So controversial was the scheme, the venue reached capacity and residents had to be turned away from the church.
Seaford Town Council, which organised the event, said it would stage another meeting on Friday November 29 at the same venue at 7pm.
Town, district and county councillors from Seaford and Newhaven attended the meeting, as did Seaford MP Norman Baker.
Leader of Seaford Town Council Ian White, Seaford mayor Anthony White, Newhaven mayor Julie Carr and Mr Baker, spoke against closing the tip to cheers from the audience.
Concerns raised included the fact Seaford was the largest town in Lewes district and deserved its own facility, that Seaford had lost a number of services over the years and that losing the facility could cause an increase in fly tipping.
Residents also said congestion around the Newhaven site just off New Road would be increased as East Sussex County Council was expecting them to use Newhaven’s tip instead.
Almost 3,000 people have signed an online and paper petition which calls on the county council to halt the closure of the tip in Cradle Hill Road.
People at the meeting were urged to sign the petition and were given paper petitions to take away for gathering signatures.
Councillor Sam Adeniji, who set up the epetition, said 200 more had to be turned away from the meeting because there was not enough space.
Cllr Adeniji said: “It was a very good turnout and a very positive meeting, it was nice to see the strength of feeling against the proposal.”
A consultation period will run until Wednesday December 11, 2013 and members of the public will be asked if they agree with the targets set as a way of managing waste in East Sussex and if businesses would use the waste transfer sites on a pay as you throw basis.
To give your views visit https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/east-sussex-waste-strategy-review
Cllr Sam Adeniji’s epetition, which calls on the county council to keep the Seaford tip open, can be seen here: http://epetition.eastsussex.public-i.tv/epetition_core/
The county council has said it had to find savings of £60m over the next three years, so faced some difficult decisions about the services it offered.
It is proposing to close three household waste and recycling sites and is asking members of the public to give their views.
The council said the journey time for some people was going to increase slightly under the proposals, but had assessed this against the national standard that the great majority of residents should be able to drive to a household waste and recycling site within 20 minutes.
And the county council has said it was not aware of any data which showed a link between the number of household waste sites and the prevalence of fly tipping.
It added there were controls to prevent and deal with fly-tipping.
The county council said the new, split level site at Newhaven, was easier to service without having to close the site during the day, so reducing queues and delays.
A county council spokesman said: “Within East Sussex more than 97 per cent of residents will still be within a 20 minute drive of a site under these proposals.
“Under the proposals Seaford residents will still have access to a household waste and recycling site within five miles at Newhaven.
“Kerbside recycling facilities are more readily and easily available than ever before, bulky waste collections are available and we encourage people to compost garden waste at home where possible.”
Kerbside recycling is provided by Lewes District Council.