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New ash recycling plant in Bromsgrove's green belt will 'make residents' lives a misery and could jeopardise town's water supply'

Tristan Harris 2nd Jun, 2016 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

CAMPAIGN groups, residents and local councillors are joining forces to stop an ash recycling plant being built in the green belt which they claim will bring noise, smell and traffic misery to residents and could even jeopardise the town’s water supply.

The proposal for the Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) plant, submitted by Veolia Environmental Services Ltd for Sandy Lane Quarry in Wildmoor, would see 120,000 tonnes of ash recycled every year on the site.

As part of the development a membrane would be laid to ensure no materials get into the ground but campaigners say the area is directly above the Wildmoor aquifier and pumping station which supplies almost 20,000 homes across the district with their water.

They claim, with toxins and traces of heavy metals in the ash, any leak in the membrane, which has a life-span of 30 years, could potentially pollute the water supply to 19,500 homes across the district.

They say there are also concerns about polluiton of the air, dust which will be produced daily from the operation and lorries coming to and from the site using country lanes not fit for accommodating so much traffic and bringing diesel pollution.

It is claimed there will be 35 lorries a day delivering the incinerated bottom ash journeying to and from the site and a similar number of vehicles taking the aggregate away for use by the building trade.

One campaigner told us: “We have worked out, with the hours of operation, it would potentially be a lorry either arriving or departing every few minutes.”

Campaigners also say this would be the first time an IBA plant of this magnitude would be built on green belt land and, as far as they know, this would be the first time one has been built directly above a public water supply.

Among those fighting the development are local residents, Fairfield Village Community Association, Wildmoor Residents Association, Belbroughton and Fairfield Parish Council, Bournheath Parish Council and Coun Sheila Blagg.

The consultation period for people to comment was due to run until May 18 but that has now been extended until July 15.

Coun Janice Boswell, from Belbroughton with Fairfield Parish Council, said: “Residents need to be aware this issue has surfaced again and it is important for them to have their say.

“We are concerned – not only about our area – but also the potential dangers to the water supply for the whole of Bromsgrove.”

A Veolia spokesperson confirmed the company had submitted the application, adding: “The Environment Agency has now issued an Environmental Permit to operate which demonstrates that there is no unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.

“We are now awaiting the outcome from the planning authority.”

Residents can visit to find out more on the designated page about the application on the Fairfield Village website. Or they can visit to see the application to have their say.

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