Company to appeal over waste plant plans

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A CIVIL engineering firm is planning to appeal after having its proposals to open a building waste recycling plant at Cramlington rejected by county councillors.

Owen Pugh was intending to relocate part of its business from its current base in Cramlington Road, Dudley, to the town’s Bassington Lane industrial estate.

Its application for consent for change of use of the site was recommended for approval at last week’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee, but councillors voted to reject their officers’ advice and give the plans the thumbs-down.

The controversial application was opposed by more than 30 nearby businesses concerned about the noise and dust a recycling plant would generate.

Among the firms objecting were American Air Filter, Randstad, Advanced Engineering Solutions and the Bazaar Group.

Owen Pugh currently uses the nine-acre site as a training centre but had been hoping to convert part of it into a facility to recycle construction and demolition waste largely created by its own contracts.

It was planning to process about 250,000 tonnes of brick, concrete, glass, stone, soil, ballast and ceramics at the site annually.

Machinery would have been used to sort and crush the waste ready for re-use in building projects.

Five staff were to have been employed by the waste-recycling operation, along with the equivalent of one full-timer overseeing five trainees at a time at the training centre.

Eventually, all 170 staff at the 310-strong firm’s Dudley base were to have been relocated to Cramlington, however, as it no longer considers the North Tyneside site to be a suitable base for its operations.

Owen Pugh group chairman John Dickson, pictured, said: “We will certainly be appealing against this decision once it has been explained.

“If we can’t use this site on what is an industrial estate the way we intend to, who can?

“We’re not some fly-by-night operation. We are north east-owned and north east-based, and we look after the environment and our local communities.

“We’re not out to make a mess of the environment and cover everyone in dust.

“We’ve spent a small fortune here in Dudley on keeping the dust down, and we wouldn’t want to make a mess or create a dust bowl up in Cramlington either.