Thumbs up for extending metal recycling facility

A HUGE metal recycling facility looks set to be redeveloped in Hailsham with a payment of £40,000 being handed over to local authorities to claw back land and boost funds for ‘public open space’ elsewhere in the town.

H Ripley & Co had put in a change-of-use application to extend its facility along with alterations at the existing site in Apex Way.

The matter was reviewed by the Regulatory Planning Committee at East Sussex County Council which gave approval with conditions at the end of June, 2012.

In a report, Rupert Clubb, county’s director of economy, transport and environment, noted the development would affect residents.

“The proposed increase in the size of the facility could potentially lead to an increased level of activity at the site, with an associated increase in noise and othe potential effects such as odour and dust, and concerns have been raised by residents.

“However, the applicant has stated that the proposed extension is sought to improve site safety and operational efficicency rather than to enable a greater amount of waste to be managed.

“Notwithstanding the applicant’s assertion, the potential for the site’s thoroughput to increase cannot be discounted, particularly because at present the site appears to be managing significantly less material than the maximum permitted by its Environmental Permit.”

He added: “This cannot reasonably be restricted through a planning condition, but conditions to contol the site’s potential impacts are necessary to protect residential amenity. “

Land to the west and north of the site was transferred to Hailsham Town Council, the report said, a decade ago. But it was not clear if some requirements of the original legal agreement, such as ‘the completion of works to lay out and provide the land for public use’ were carried out.

In March 2012 tH Ripley & Co asked Wealden District Council to release the undeveloped land. Wealden said changing the legal agreement would require a £40,000 contribution to ‘off-set the loss of the area of public open space’, according to the report. The money would fund an ‘equivalent amount of open space elsewhere within Hailsham’.