Public response to recycle plant

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A MAMMOTH public consultation exercise about a new rubbish disposal plant, which saw 18,000 newsletters delivered to households across South Yorkshire, led to just 34 responses.

Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster councils asked the public what they thought of a proposed new facility at Bolton Road, Manvers, Rotherham.

The £40 million scheme, which has not yet received planning permission, will involve mechanical biological treatment and anaerobic digestion to recycle the three towns’ black bag rubbish. Energy produced will be turned into electricity.

The public consultation involved 18,499 newsletters being hand-delivered to 17,600 households and 900 business addresses.

Exhibitions were attended by 129 people over three days.

But there were just 34 responses - only seven of which were in support of the scheme.

Of the 27 people who raised concerns, the majority related to the potential impact of traffic on local roads, due to large lorries on ‘unsuitable roads’.

Five people said the site was the wrong location because it is too populated and busy, and could be vulnerable to flooding.

Other concerns related to how the buildings would look, and environmental issues such as noise, dust and smells.

Now the three councils have chosen 3SE - a consortium of waste management company Shanks and Scottish and Southern Energy - to create the new facility, set to open in 2015 and will be run on a 25-year contract.

Stephen Ray, bid director for the project at Shanks, said: “Traffic was clearly the key issue for those who had concerns. We will be discussing this, along with other issues such as flood risk, with the three local authorities and with our project team to make sure we find the right solutions.

“There were also a number of welcome suggestions and I was pleased we were able to address concerns around noise, dust and smells.

“Our consultation does not stop here. Since the exhibitions we have held further meetings with local groups and parish councils and will be continuing our dialogue with the community up to submission of our planning application and, if we are given planning approval, through and beyond the construction process.”