Wellow Residents Association
Public Meeting at Wellow Village Hall at 8.00pm
on 11th September 2002
Regarding Willow Farm Planning Application No
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
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
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"
Phillips family has lived in village for 100 years and want to stay
Dairy herd moved away 6 years ago so need to do something with Willow
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
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
Noise - survey completed, full height block walls in buildings will
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
Only noise will be from vehicles
Acoustic barriers to protect village residents designed by reference to
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
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
Each question/point raised is recorded below with a number for ease of
- 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
- How long has landfill site been in operation? DP replied 12 years
- Vehicles delivering waste, what weight? DP replied 16 tons gross - 6
x 5m³ skips
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- If the total number of vehicle movements includes the landfill
traffic how would DP make money? This question was not answered
- 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.
- 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.
- Can the vehicles crossing the Lane see clearly as well as users of
the Lane? DP replied YES, tests had been carried out.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Clarification was again sought on TOTAL traffic movements - reply was
200 movements. See 11 above.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It was further observed that the noise study did not allow for the "noise
correction factor" technicality. NB disagreed saying it had been
- 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.
- It was commented that skip lorries have audible warning sirens - how
would they be stopped from operating? DP replied by turning them off.
- A resident asked how many staff would be on site and in the sorting
building? NB replied 6 new staff, 4 in the shed.
- 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.
- If sprinklers are in use regularly, where is the dust laden water
going? NB replied that it would be retained on site.
- NB was asked if Waste Management Licence would come once planning
consent was granted. NB replied YES.
- 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.
- 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
- What was the possibility of contaminated waste arriving on site from
brownfield development sites? NB stated that no contaminated waste will
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- NB was asked if there should be input from Wellow residents to B&NES.
NB replied it was very important that there should be.
- 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.
- 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.
- Would any floodlighting be used during the operating day? DP replied
YES there will be operational lighting but no detail was given.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- One resident was against this idea as it would generate more traffic.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.