Compost dangers

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people are extremely concerned over the composting plant proposal at Norton Aerodrome.

I represent the relatives association at Woodland View dementia nursing home, one of the nearest neighbours.

We and others have grave concerns about the safety of this plant and the size. The size keeps changing but as it stands now Green Estates (the acceptable social enterprise face) will be given a permit to process 26,000 tons of green waste a year.

Their partner Silva Power will bring logs by the articulated lorry full to be put into a wood chipper.

There are no restrictions on this part of the process and there is almost unlimited hard standing at the aerodrome. What will the scale of this be in future?

The Environment Agency admits little is known about health risks of composting green waste. The dangers of living so close is as yet unquantified.

This a relatively new process and ‘super-sites’ like this are untested. But research shows a real risk from a fungus that grows on damp wood – aspergillus as deaths from composting have been recorded.

Millions of spores settle and grow inside airspaces to colonise the body causing life-threatening infections. People with supressed immune systems or any lung complaints are particularly at risk.

For Woodland View this is a big issue – all our 60 residents have compromised immune systems as dementia affects every bodily function: we have many cases of diabetes, chronic asthma, obstructive airways disease, obstructive pulmonary disease, several residents are predisposed to pneumonia.

Sadly a few have cancer.

The Environment Agency’s rule is that no composting will be allowed within 250 metres of sensitive receptors, people.

Woodland View is only 110 metres away. Bowman drive is only 66m away from wood chipping and logs, a nursery is only 108m away, flats are only 80m away, playing field and playground only 77m away, school 143m away.

They have applied for a special permit which the EA are set to approve that will allow this through as long as bio gasses are monitored.

Forgive me but won’t it be too late then?

Rita Brookes