Connonbridge landfill site in East Taphouse will close in 2018
RESIDENTS living near to the Connonbridge landfill site in East Taphouse say they can finally see a "light at the end of the tunnel", after Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee determined that the tip will be closed in 2018.
Doug Mills, who has been campaigning against the proposals to extend the use of the site, said: "There is now a glowing light at the end of the tunnel which, under any other circumstances, there may not have been.
"We think it's a good compromise for reasons that if it had been refused there is every possibility that they would have appealed. The appeal then would have been heard by a government inspector and it may have gone against us," he added.
Sita, the company which manages the site on behalf of Cornwall Council, had applied to extend its working life until 2036.
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However, at the strategic planning committee's meeting last Thursday, councillors refused to grant permission for the site to stay open for the full 22 years and said the tip must close on December 31, 2018.
During the meeting, residents raised concerns over problems caused by the site including how the local school, Braddock Church of England Primary School, has to keep its windows closed in the summer due to the smell of the rubbish.
Head teacher Lynn Nash said: "Apparently it has been an issue in the past. I haven't been here that long so it hasn't happened in my time. But when I left the school yesterday you could smell it."
Other concerns raised included the high levels of leachate liquid, noise from the vehicles travelling in and out of the tip and the amount of rubbish being left on the highways from lorries.
During the meeting Cornwall councillor John Filter expressed his concern for residents living near the site.
Mr Filter said: "I'm filled with horror hearing the things that people in the area have to put up with. There has to be dramatic improvements."
A motion to refuse the original application was defeated by one vote and councillors voted against a second proposal to defer the decision for six months to allow Sita and the Environment Agency to address the problems.
"I was pleasantly surprised that not one councillor mentioned approving the application in full. Every one of them was talking against it," Mr Mills said.
The committee voted in favour of approving the application on the condition a legal agreement is made by Sita to ensure the site will close on the designated date.
Sita made the application to keep the site open after plans to build an incinerator in St Austell were delayed.
Sita previously told the Cornish Guardian that the amount of waste going to Connonbridge would drastically reduce after CERC is operational and that it had made the application to extend the use of the site until 2036 to "cover all bases".
The decision to keep the site open was made just weeks after a stream was polluted by leachate liquid leaking from the site. At the meeting Gareth Phillips, from Sita, gave an unreserved apology to residents for the incident.