(Title Image: via Google Earth)
The monthly meeting of Bridgend Council’s Planning Committee took place yesterday. The only major development up for discussion was a proposed community recycling centre at the Village Farm Industrial Estate in Pyle.
The proposed centre (report – pdf) will replace the Tythegston civic amenity site/tip and will be built on former industrial land on the corner of Heol Mostyn and Sturmi Way. The application was submitted by Bridgend Council’s Communities Directorate.
The meeting was webcast, but it’s mainly an audio feed as whenever the camera focused on councillors (as opposed to the chair, officers and public speakers), what you got was random shots of desks and carpet.
Traffic concerns dominate
Addressing the Committee, ward member, Cllr. Mike Kearn (Lab, Pyle), raised objections on traffic grounds, particularly the amount of traffic accessing the estate from the A48 onto Heol Mostyn. He criticised the fact a consultant’s report on proposals for dealing with traffic wasn’t provided alongside the application.
A planning officer told committee members the site is allocated for waste disposal uses in the LDP. A model based on Tythegston was used to predict visitor numbers, with 27 spaces provided for the public within the site.
It was confirmed that the consultant’s report – which seems to recommend an upgrade to the A48-Heol Mostyn junction – wasn’t related to this specific application but was a general highways investigation.
Cllr. Matt Voisey (Con, Oldcastle) welcomed the possible junction upgrade, describing Sturmi Road as “busy”.
Cllr. Amanda Williams (Ind, Coity) supported Cllr. Kearn’s request that these reports are included alongside applications – something she’s raised previously – as members need all available information before making decisions. She believes the new facility would be an improvement on Brynmenyn, but raised traffic capacity issues.
Cllr. John Spanswick (Lab, Brackla) was worried that while there was plenty of room within the site, there’ll be occasions when cars will queue outside – Cllr David Lewis (Lab, Sarn) adding that people sometimes queue for 30-45 minutes outside Brynmenyn tip prior to the gates opening.
Councillors later agreed to amend to the planning conditions so that formal traffic regulations orders (i.e. double yellow lines etc.) can be considered, if necessary, in the future.
Cllr. Carolyn Webster (Con, Newcastle) criticised poor signage and the poor state of the roads. She was assured by officers traffic management will be continuously reviewed, with the first review period 6 months after the site opens.
Leaving a bad smell
Cllr. Richard Granville (Lab, Cornelly) said Tythegston often smelt of rotting waste and the prevailing wind in the area would carry any bad smells from this facility towards Cynffig Comprehensive. Officers told him no objections had been raised on air pollution grounds and the skips would be regularly emptied – meaning there won’t be time for waste to fester.
Cllr. Keith Edwards (Ind, Maesteg East) asked whether the site would close – as at other sites – during working hours for the skips to be emptied? Officers said public and work vehicles had separate access points and the site will remain open even as skips are changed.
Cllr. James Radcliffe (Plaid, Aberkenfig) said the application was an example of balancing different considerations. On the one side, it was about increasing recycling capacity on a sustainable brownfield, but on the other side, there were concerns relating to flooding, a nearby nursery and children who might walk to/from school.
Officers said the nursery is there because employees on the estate use it – which is precisely why it lies within an industrial estate. Also, the council had to satisfy Natural Resources Wales on flooding, while initial analysis suggests the area isn’t deemed acceptable as a safe route to school due to heavy industrial traffic – though it’ll be down to Cynffig Comprehensive to tell pupils it’s not safe to go that way.
There wasn’t a recorded vote, but the application was approved.