Expansion of Hailsham recycling plant approved

Proposed layout of expansion at Polegate Yard off Summerhill Lane
Proposed layout of expansion at Polegate Yard off Summerhill Lane

Expansion plans for a recycling plant south of Hailsham have been approved by county councillors.

Haulaway currently operates at Polegate Yard off Summerhill Lane to sort and store recyclable material.

Its application for a new fully-enclosed materials recovery facility on the empty western part of the site was approved by East Sussex County Council’s planning committee on Thursday (March 15).

The site currently receives construction and demolition waste, and the proposal allows it to also process dry mixed recyclable waste.

Several properties close to Polegate Yard raised concerns about potential increased noise as part of the expansion plans.

Objector Heather Rajaratnam explained that when previous permission was granted for the site neighbours were assured sound pollution would be ‘limited’ but ‘this is not the case’.

She said: “Sound pollution is high and noise emissions have not been adhered to by Polegate Yard.”

Lisa Kemp, speaking on behalf of Haulaway, outlined how the company had looked at 47 alternative sites before submitting the planning application for expansion at Polegate Yard.

She described how the scheme would allow more material to be diverted from landfill with Haulaway hoping to finish construction of the new facility in 2019.

She added: “The [extra] activity will not adversely affect the amenity of residents.”

Officers explained how the maximum number of total lorry movements to and from the site a day is currently 40, which is due to rise to 66 if the expansion goes ahead.

The ridge height of the new building would be 13 metres with the eaves 9.5 metres tall.

An attenuation pond is proposed on agricultural land to the north-west of the site.

Meanwhile improvements to Summerhill Lane and its junction with the A22 would lead to the removal and replacement of a section of hedgerow.

The existing passing place along the access track would also be enlarged.

Councillors asked for an extra condition to be added to control noise levels at the nearest residential property.

Godfrey Daniel said: “The fact we are going to have a use that’s going to be in a self-contained building which is sound proofed according to the report has got to be positive I would have thought.”

Pat Rodohan added: “I’m very willing to support any condition which will alleviate any sound coming from that site.”

Officers explained that no official complaints about noise coming from Polegate Yard had been received by the county council.

Claire Dowling, chair of the committee, said: “To anybody that’s watching if you have an issue with a site you need to report them.”