Wellow Residents Association

Public Meeting at Wellow Village Hall at 8.00pm on 11th September 2002

Regarding Willow Farm Planning Application No 02/02011/FUL


Meeting chaired by Peter Downey, WRA committee, minuted by Alistair Colston, WRA chairman.

Meeting attended by David Phillips (DP), applicant, and Neil Baglow (NB), DP's consultant.

68 members of the public signed the attendance books.

Item 1 Chairman's Introduction

Purpose of meeting to learn and listen to DP as to what the proposal is about.

DP & NB to make presentations, then take questions in order of agenda, then AOB.

Item 2 Apologies for Absence

Richard Whittington - Chairman Wellow Parish Council

Peter Duppa-Miller - Clerk to Combe Hay Parish Council

Gertie Strum

Janet Plater

Erica Smith

Item3 Presentations by DP & NB


Resume as to why proposal submitted.

Farming in terrible state - incomes down by 75% over 5 years

Looked for additional sources of income

Development of Willow Farm turned down as outside the village boundaries

Office/light industrial uses not suitable

Other agricultural eg horses, already many in this business locally, abattoir also considered

Concluded recycling the most suitable and needed use in B&NES area

Only builders waste to be accepted NOT commercial waste as stated on "flyer" for meeting

Phillips family has lived in village for 100 years and want to stay here.

Dairy herd moved away 6 years ago so need to do something with Willow Farm

Proposed use is best route for Phillips family

Will not be a blight on Wellow.


Works for ADAS, formerly part of MAFF

NB role has been advising DP for 10-12 years in respect of landfill site

DP asked for advice

No new buildings to be constructed

Will introduce coppicing, hedgerows and bunding to enhance landscape

They have considered noise, visual and all aspects that concern residents

Waste management is contentious

Buildings will be lined and all works will be internal

All waste sorted by hand - no crushing

Waste recycling is a licensed activity - Environment Agency control

No clouds of dust, flies, seagulls - will not be like landfill open site

Rural diversification for Phillips family

DP manages landfill site in a proper manner

(using site plan) NB explained proposed usage of site

Access via landfill site

Bollards by Willow Farm will prevent vehicles entering or exiting via Stoney Littleton Lane

Landscaping will hide the facility and 2 timber buildings will be removed

Noise - survey completed, full height block walls in buildings will minimise

Background level noted at 42 decibels at Old England (the nearest "receptor")

Dust - buildings sealed, waste delivered in skips - smaller skips dropped off inside building

Sorted inside then moved to bunkers in adjacent building then moved off site.

Only noise will be from vehicles

Acoustic barriers to protect village residents designed by reference to survey

No crushing will take place on site

The proposals result of significant time, effort and cost to DP

Site conforms to waste requirement

Main sources of waste are building sites in Peasedown St John, Radstock and Hinton

DP interjected to say NOT from Hinton - NB agreed and revised the sources to exclude Hinton


To put proposals in context, dairy herd moved 6 years ago

Proposals involve handling 25,000 tons of materials for waste site

Dairy herd involved 50,000 tons of materials/waste being handled

Nothing will come through the village

Environment Agency will not allow any deviation from the Licence

Item 4 - Questions from the floor

Chairman invited questions from the floor in order of topics on the agenda.

Each question/point raised is recorded below with a number for ease of reference.

  1. If operational day is 11½ hours long as stated on application, does DP intend to keep doors closed all the time? DP replied YES.

    DP says misprint in application - operational hours Monday - Friday 0730 to 1700 NOT 1900

  2. How long has landfill site been in operation? DP replied 12 years
  3. Vehicles delivering waste, what weight? DP replied 16 tons gross - 6 x 5m³ skips
  4. How stop traffic coming through village instead of from A367? DP says nothing goes through village now and nothing will in future. Contradictory views expressed from the floor and reference to Penny's and other hauliers. DP says NOT using his site. Landfill site manager Paul Doman confirmed operate a 3 strikes policy - all vehicle numbers noted on arrival along with transfer notes detailing nature and source of waste - if come through village warning given
  5. The application refers to materials sold on - what traffic generation will arise from selling materials from Willow Farm? NB replied that they were looking to move recycled materials off site to Travis Perkins and other builders merchants - it was pointed out from the floor that a retail use had been applied for in respect of Willow Farm even if builders merchants were being considered. DP stated that he intends to use tractors and trailers to move waste from the Farm.
  6. The application refers to 3.2 vehicle movements per hour. It was pointed out that this equated to 6.4 vehicles per hour entering and leaving the site along with further movements for recycling which could bring the total to 22 per hour. What steps were being taken to mask this traffic and to cope with it. DP replied that the roadway across his field from the landfill site would be surfaced with crushed stone and hedges would be planted to mask from view. Also pointed out that the total vehicle movements per week were estimated at 200 which is the same as currently permitted for the landfill.
  7. If the total number of vehicle movements includes the landfill traffic how would DP make money? This question was not answered
  8. DP was asked for further explanation of number of vehicle movements. What constituted a movement. NB replied one cycle is two movements. DP added that although seeking consent for 200 movements, it was anticipated that 125 per week was likely to be the actual usage.
  9. All site traffic would cross Littleton Lane. How would DP make the lane safe for all users and keep it clean? DP replied that he can't see it as a problem. There would be sight lines of 100m each way for users of the Lane approaching the site and the bollards referred to by NB.
  10. Can the vehicles crossing the Lane see clearly as well as users of the Lane? DP replied YES, tests had been carried out.
  11. It was put to DP that the predicted cross traffic of 3.2 vehicle movements per hour would equate to one vehicle crossing every 10 minutes, excluding any recycling traffic. If the heavy traffic would not exceed the current traffic for the landfill site then this would mean the doubling of current usage to and from the village. NB replied YES seeking to be permitted 200 vehicle movements per week for Landfill and same again for recycling plant. But as noted by DP in 8 above, anticipate actual traffic will be less. See also reply to 16 below.
  12. Clarity on vehicle movements was sought from the floor. NB confirmed that one vehicle movement equalled one vehicle arriving at the site and then leaving ie a round trip. Note NB reply to 8 above. Confusing use of different terminology. One cycle = one movement = one round trip ie two crossings of Littleton Lane.
  13. Clarity on vehicle types was sought from the floor. Given response to 3 above, could we assume that all materials arriving would be in skips. NB replied NO, the site would be open to all commercial vehicles - see also response to 53 below
  14. Previous traffic studies have shown that the morning rush hour was the main period for traffic flows in both directions through the village and so maximum vehicular conflicts. This being the case and given responses to 8 and 11 above about lower traffic volumes expected, why open at 0730 as this would create maximum conflict. Why not open at 0900? DP replied that main traffic flows in morning are between 0800 and 0900, therefore opening at 0730 would allow vehicles to deliver before peak flows.
  15. Has a Traffic Impact Assessment been carried out? And what is Highways Authority view. NB replied that no TIA had been carried out on Littleton Lane and none on roads through the village. DP added that he doesn't see it as a problem.
  16. Clarification was again sought on TOTAL traffic movements - reply was 200 movements. See 11 above.
  17. Regarding response to 6 above, it was suggested from the floor that if access road was surfaced in crushed stone it would generate dust, instead why could DP not reduce dust by use of spent asphalt? NB replied excellent idea
  18. Following on from the point made above regarding surfacing material, it was noted that Catherine Wilson of the Asthma and Lung Campaign had provided evidence that heavy dust particles are not the main cause of problems but the fine particles that would not be controlled by watering with sprinklers. It was not believed that there would never be any crushing on site. Information would be made available to any resident who was interested - please contact WRA
  19. Reference had been made in NB presentation to the buildings being sealed and manual sorting of waste. Would mechanical ventilation not be needed? DP replied NO. NB added that composting is the real worry as it causes miners lung.
  20. Reference was made in NB presentation to the 42 decibel background level. Is this the operating level? NB replied that the level was in fact 38 decibels at New England (sic).
  21. If the dust level needs to be maintained then mechanical ventilation would be required. This would be difficult to achieve without noise levels of at least 80 decibels. DP replied that dust would be controlled by sprinklers in the buildings.
  22. It was noted that in the evening noise travels 850m from Long Barrow to village allowing words in a conversation to be clearly heard. This leads to lack of belief that noise will not be a problem from the operation of the site. NB replied that consultants did a study and ADAS have designed according to the consultants report. The ambient levels were between 42 and 44 decibels.
  23. It was pointed out from the floor that NB's own report criticised the noise consultants study as the study was based on only twenty minutes on one day rather than the minimum whole day required by the Standards for such studies. NB agreed but feels that if the study had been conducted over a whole day then it would have suited the applicants case.
  24. It was also noted by a resident that two separate consultants had been used by ADAS, one of whom was not a member of the relevant professional body. NB did not respond except to acknowledge that the comment was accurate.
  25. It was further observed that the noise study did not allow for the "noise correction factor" technicality. NB disagreed saying it had been considered.
  26. Are audible warning sirens on site vehicles measured in the study? NB replied NO, such sirens will not be used as they will have a banksman guiding reversing vehicles into the buildings.
  27. It was commented that skip lorries have audible warning sirens - how would they be stopped from operating? DP replied by turning them off.
  28. A resident asked how many staff would be on site and in the sorting building? NB replied 6 new staff, 4 in the shed.
  29. The questioner then asked if it was not implausible and against health regulations to expect 4 people to work in a sealed environment all day without mechanical ventilation and with only sprinklers to keep dust down. This question was not answered specifically.
  30. If sprinklers are in use regularly, where is the dust laden water going? NB replied that it would be retained on site.
  31. NB was asked if Waste Management Licence would come once planning consent was granted. NB replied YES.
  32. Project Creep was raised as an issue from the floor. If site developed over time where will it end? Not confident that site would be controlled as currently envisaged. DP replied that the proposals themselves set out the limits of the use of the site. He continued that B&NES are talking of granting consent for only 5 years to allow proper consideration of how operation works in practice.
  33. Was security lighting needed? If so how many lights and how high would they be? DP replied NONE needed as crushed aggregates are low value so who would want to climb fences to steal. See also reply to 42 below.
  34. What was the possibility of contaminated waste arriving on site from brownfield development sites? NB stated that no contaminated waste will be handled.
  35. DP was asked if he would organise site visit to landfill site for residents so that their concerns may be calmed by seeing how the site operated. DP happy to arrange.
  36. DP was asked if he could suggest a similar recycling centre in the are to that he was proposing for residents to visit. DP replied that there weren't any otherwise he wouldn't be considering opening one. It was suggested that there must be something similar within a reasonable distance. DP said he would contact Environment Agency to find something comparable.
  37. It was noted from the floor that the planning application was supported by various documents including consideration of the visual impact on named properties. NB was asked why the three house closest to the site on the northern side of the High Street were excluded whilst others on the same side of the Street were included. NB asked for these properties to be identified on the plan. Once they had been pointed out NB said he could not explain why they had been excluded and would revisit the report.
  38. It was put to NB that during the meeting there were a number of issues that he had agreed needed to be revisited eg noise study, visual study etc and good ideas that had been put forward. If planning comes first, then Waste Management Licence as noted by NB in 31 above, how would DP/NB incorporate such revisions/good ideas into the planning application? NB replied through conditions attached to the planning consent.
  39. NB was asked if there should be input from Wellow residents to B&NES. NB replied it was very important that there should be.
  40. Following on from the questions on traffic crossing Littleton Lane earlier, see 9, 10 & 11 above, the issue of the proposed SUSTRANS cycle route along Littleton Lane was raised asking if conflicts were not inevitable. DP replied that as noted earlier, there were good sight lines so no problems were envisaged.
  41. This point was followed by a comment that cycles and horses already use the Lane regularly and from personal experience exacerbate current visibility problems for vehicles using the Lane. Therefore would not extra trucks give rise to more problems? NB replied that cross traffic is the issue and that the hedges will be taken back to improve the sight lines and this along with the bollards, referred to in NB's presentation and in 9 above, would address the issue. NB commented further that it was beyond their control on other matters.
  42. Would any floodlighting be used during the operating day? DP replied YES there will be operational lighting but no detail was given.
  43. NB was asked what is the maximum capacity of the proposed site. NB replied 25,000 per annum. NB commented further that they would struggle to use that much.
  44. NB was asked if there would be a crusher on the landfill site. NB replied that the planning application for a crusher was in abeyance and not relevant to the Willow Farm application.
  45. It was pointed out that the planning application was supported by much material that was well written but that was either short on detail or needed explanation for the layman to understand and that this meeting itself had shown how much was still unclear to residents. The application is due to go before the Planning Committee in 8 weeks. Clearly DP had spent 18 months and more preparing his case but the residents have had a very short time to consider the detail and understand the implications.
  46. DP was asked if he was prepared to defer the application to allow the residents to take independent advice on the proposals. DP replied that he needed time to consider the request.
  47. It was put to NB that the supporting documents referred exclusively to the Willow Farm application but that the landfill site had been operated by the applicant for 23 years, the applicant had also made an application for the concrete crusher and that all three uses are related. Therefore, they cannot and should not view this application in isolation but should consider the three as a single Waste Recycling Business. NB replied that it would be beneficial to do so. All three are ongoing issues. NB also made reference to the waste hierarchy.
  48. The chairman asked if this proposal to consider the three uses as a single business was put to DP would he consider it sympathetically? No specific reply was given.
  49. A comment from the floor was that the proposals by the applicant represented the industrialisation of the countryside and Wellow and that low cost housing would be preferable use of the site. The chairman asked how people feel about housing if it was on an appropriate scale.
  50. One resident was against this idea as it would generate more traffic.
  51. Reference was made to the comment earlier, see 32 above, regarding the suggestion by B&NES that a 5 year trial run should be considered. If DP had to carry out all of the works referred to during the meeting to create the recycling centre, would he have to do them all if he was granted only a temporary consent? DP replied that he would have to in order to get a Waste Management Licence.
  52. DP was asked what would happen to the landfill site as it was due to be remediated by 2003? DP replied that at the present rate of filling it would be seven years before the site was filled and this would be restored on a gradual basis.
  53. Referring back to the issue of who could use the proposed facility, NB was asked if "white van man" would be a licensed waste haulier with a Transfer note? Would DP accept a restriction to ensure that only large vehicles used the facility? NB replied that commercial reality dictates that "white van man" may have a Licence and so would be accepted.

Item 6 Future Action

The chairman invited people to join the committee of the Wellow Residents Association by contacting himself on 835553 or Alistair Colston on 834492.

Item 7 AOB - None

The chairman thanked DP and NB for attending and thanked the residents and Councillors Dawson and Todd for attending.


Meeting closed at 2140.