Controversial plans to more than double the capacity of a Sheffield aggregates recycling firm have been approved – despite concern from nearby residents about noise and dust.
Councillors who visited the site found the dust was, in fact, coming from a different site.
People living in Middlewood and Wadsley Park objected to the proposals by Ballast Phoenix, based on Beeley Wood Lane, across the Don Valley.
The company applied for planning permission to increase capacity from 60,000 to 135,000 tonnes per annum, install new equipment and a sound barrier.
Members of Sheffield Council’s planning committee went on a visit to see the site before making a decision on the plans – which received 16 letters of objection, including one from Bradfield Parish Council.
Coun Bob Johnson, a member of the committee and Labour councillor for Stocksbridge, said: “I live nearby and was initially quite concerned to hear of the plans by Ballast Phoenix.
“However, on visiting the site, it was clear the noise and dust were not coming from that firm’s operations.”
Coun Janet Bragg, Labour member for Hillsborough, said: “I feel everything that can be done is being done at the site to prevent noise and dust escaping. We need the jobs from this application.”
But Coun Trevor Bagshaw, Liberal Democrat member for West Ecclesfield, called for the council to ensure lorries bringing material to the site use the A61 and Stocksbridge bypass, rather than driving through Deepcar and Oughtibridge.
He said: “I understand the expansion is necessary to handle material from west of the Pennines. We need to ensure lorries use appropriate roads.”
Council planning officers said they had no power to control which roads are used by lorries, apart from existing weight limits.
No members of the public attended the committee meeting.