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Anger at plans to extend life of Connon Bridge landfill site

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 07, 2012

  • UP IN ARMS: Residents from the parishes of St Pinnock and Braddock are against plans to prolong the life of the landfill site at Connon Bridge.

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RESIDENTS living close to the Connon Bridge landfill site, near Liskeard, have launched their objections to plans to extend its life by 22 years.

The waste disposal site in East Taphouse was due to close in 2014 but in September this year, Sita UK, which runs the site on behalf of Cornwall Council, applied for planning permission to keep it operating until 2036.

Doug Mills, who has lived 100 yards from the boundary of the site for the past 17 years, said: "They have wreaked havoc on our lives for the last God knows how many years.

"Sita took over five years ago and it was reopened two years ago," the 68-year-old explained. "Since then it's been an absolute nightmare, especially the noise. We want it to close."

The Connon Bridge site is now the only active landfill site in Cornwall. Following closures of other sites in the county, Connon Bridge now receives 300,000 tonnes of waste each year.

Mr Mills also claims the noise levels produced by the plant breaches the site's environmental permit. A representative from the Environment Agency said complaints about noise from the site are being investigated.

Chairman of St Pinnock Parish Council, Carol Spear, said she had concerns about the proposals.

Miss Spear said: "We are considerably unhappy about the proposals to lengthen the time by 22 years.

"It means we would have had a landfill site for 68 years," she added.

The parish council plans to arrange a public meeting to discuss the plans in the near future.

Benedicte Bay, who has lived in the area all her life said: "As a community we are very angry and very upset that the site is going to remain open."

The 36-year-old said the local community will fight the plans.

"We are going to try to get everyone together and do whatever we can to stop them from doing this," she added.

Gareth Phillips, planning manager at Sita UK, said the amount of waste sent to Connon Bridge will drastically reduce when the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre in St Dennis is operational.

The incinerator, which is due to be completed in 2016, will be capable of taking 240,000 tonnes of waste each year.

Mr Phillips said: "The Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre (CERC), which now has planning permission, won't be completed until 2016 because of all the legal challenges.

"Once it is open, the amount of waste going to Connon Bridge will greatly reduce. We have to present what the worst case scenario will be.

"If there is nothing to go into Connon Bridge, the site won't operate. We are trying to cover all bases," he added.

Mr Phillips explained that once CERC is operational, if Connon Bridge takes 60 tonnes of waste a year, it would reach its full capacity in 2020 and would then be closed.

If the site only receives 20 tonnes a year, it could remain open until 2036.

If the application to keep the site open is rejected, Cornwall's waste may have to be taken to landfills outside the county.

Mr Phillips said his firm is working closely with local residents and the parish council to address concerns regarding noise levels at the site.

"We have done a fair amount of work over the past two or three years but there is still a fair amount to be done," he said.

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