Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

LATEST ON DECOY FARM from Broadwater County Councillor Alan Rice

West Sussex Waste Local Plan

West Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority have produced a draft Waste Local Plan which will cover the period to 2031.  There is currently a public consultation entitled ‘Have your say on the Waste Local Plan’ for which the end date has been extended to Monday 13th August 2012 at 5.00 pm.

The plan is required to be produced by West Sussex County Council by central government to form an agreed strategy for waste management in the county.  Domestic or “black bag” rubbish is fully covered by the new waste facility at Brockhurst Wood in Warnham and similarly recycled rubbish by the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) at Ford.  The problem arises with approximately 770,000 tons of commercial waste handled by private operators e.g. Virador or Biffa which needs to be stopped going to landfill.

West Sussex has identified seven potential sites for a new waste facility including Decoy Farm in East Worthing.

Decoy Farm

Decoy Farm has approximately seven hectares available for development classed in Worthing Borough Council’s Core Strategy as an area of change for “developing opportunities on the site for mixed employment use that could include a range B1, B2 and B8 industrial units or open storage” and further “development should provide opportunities to develop new recreational uses that would take advantage of the area’s open spaces.”

The site has a potential use for a waste facility capable of handling 50,000 tons representing approximately 100 lorries a week.  A bigger facility is not possible because of the increased heavy traffic in Broadwater and East Worthing which is already a cause of concern to residents.

The waste facility could be a waste transfer plant which takes in waste and repackages into blocks to be taken away again, or a waste to energy plant – either an anaerobic digester or an incinerator.

Worthing Borough Council

Worthing Borough Council has a dual role (a) in ensuring development is in accordance with the Core Strategy and (b) as landowners of the site.

As regards ensuring acceptable development, Worthing Borough Council’s Planning Committee at a meeting held on July 11th 2012 resolved:

“The Committee recommends to the Cabinet Member for Regeneration that no objection be raised to the allocation of the Decoy Farm site within the draft Waste Local Plan subject to:

• An additional criteria being included in the Draft Waste Local Plan that refers to the need to adhere to the development principles for Decoy Farm established in the Core Strategy (Area of Change 10).

  • An additional criteria being included in the Draft Waste Local Plan that refers to the need to ensure that the potential use of part of the Decoy Farm site as a waste facility shout not prejudice the use of the remainder of the land for mixed-use employment opportunities. “

As regards being landowners Worthing Borough Council (WBC) have been remarkably coy about their intentions until this week at the Worthing County Local Committee held on Monday July 23rd when Cabinet Member for Resources Steven Waight announced WBC has no intention of releasing the land for a waste facility.  This appeared to be news to West Sussex.

OUR THOUGHTS

After talking to various green groups, including Greenpeace, Worthing Liberal Democrats have decided if the site is used for a waste facility the best option would be an anaerobic digester converting waste to energy and producing cheap electricity for local residents.

Worthing Liberal Democrats do not support an incinerator because of the ongoing public concerns and do not support a waste transfer plant because this only moves the waste problem elsewhere with increased heavy lorry movements.

We are concerned about the potential increase in heavy traffic to the long suffering residents of Broadwater and East Worthing and will seek ways to mitigate – perhaps a rail spur into the back of the site.

Alan Rice

Leader of Worthing Borough Council Liberal Democrat Group and Broadwater County Councillor

This a living document and will be continually refreshed as more information becomes available.