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Recycling Centre at Grove Nursery, Hazlehead
Plans for a new household waste recycling centre in the west of Aberdeen have been approved by Aberdeen City Council's Development Management Sub-committee.
SITA UK's planning application for a 1.2 hectare site in the north-west corner of the disused Grove Nursery at Hazlehead, which was previously used to store composted green waste, was approved by eight votes to three.
The planning application is for a household waste recycling centre which will accept domestic waste only for recycling and disposal. It will not accept commercial waste. The site will be laid out with containers for a range of waste including wood, cardboard, garden waste, metal, rubble and glass. There will be no facility for the disposal of food waste and there will be no waste processing on the site.
The Scottish Government's Reporter, in his response to the city council's Proposed Local Development Plan, stated that the site was suitable for development as a household waste recycling centre and was the best available site to serve the citizens of west Aberdeen.
The Reporter also stated he had no doubt that the council had fairly assessed the site.
Convener Kate Dean said: "What we were looking at is the suitability of this site for this application and in my mind the suitability has been proved. This is not part of Hazlehead Park, it's a site adjacent to Hazlehead Park.
"I am very conscious about the number of objections. We have had to look at those objections and the material planning considerations in them. 'I don't like it,' is not a material planning consideration.
"There are recycling facilities all over this city. This is not in my mind an industrial use for the site. This is a needed community facility. Many, many safeguards have been put in and I have asked for a zebra crossing to be provided as an additional planning condition to provide extra safety for pedestrians.
Vice-convener John Corall said: "We've heard all sorts of speculation and supposition, some of it a bit alarmist and a bit exaggerated. This is not a recreational area, it's a garden waste dump. I reject the safety concerns we've heard and I do not think that speed is an issue.
"I went to the recycling centre at Westhill to see what's happening there and spoke to the resident in the house nearest to the recycling centre, which was adjacent to a leisure centre and which has a primary school much closer than Hazlehead Primary School is to Grove Nursery.
"I asked him about safety, noise and smells. He said there was no problem. I said there must be something he could say about the facility and he said: 'Yes, it's rather convenient."
SITA UK submitted the planning application at the end of August 2011 and the application was subject to a Development Management Sub-Committee Local Development Plan Departure Hearing. The hearing allowed the sub-committee to gather further information on the application and included a site visit in the morning. During the hearing, presentations were delivered by: the Council's planning department, SITA UK (the applicant), the waste management service, the roads department and Environmental Health. Representations were heard from several community groups and individuals including: Craigiebuckler and Seafield Community Council, Hazlehead Primary School Parents' Council, Craigiebuckler Parish Church and Friends of Hazlehead. Members of the sub-committee and local ward Members were given the opportunity to ask questions of all those giving presentations or representations. No decisions were made during the hearing.
Before a planning application could be submitted, it was necessary for a number of assessments to be completed including:
- Transport Statement
- Noise Assessment
- Ecological Impact Assessment
- View the report by the Council's Planning department which went before the Development Management Sub-Committee
- View the planning application and associated assessments, site designs
- view the Scottish Government's reporter's comments relating to the Grove Nursery in the Local Development Plan The Grove Nursery designation is dealt with under Issue 34.
Waste Management Licence
In addition to the planning permission, the site cannot be operated without a Waste Management Licence. An application will be made to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for a licence that will require the operator to ensure measures are put in place to prevent pollution from the site (including an impermeable surface and collected surface water runoff) and to prevent litter, dust and vermin problems on the site. SEPA will subsequently inspect the site at regular intervals to ensure compliance with best environmental practice.
In line with planning regulation, once the application was submitted representations could be lodged with the planning department.
In preparation for the application, the Council's Waste Management Contractor, SITA UK Ltd, undertook a pre-application consultation on the proposed Grove Nursery Recycling Centre. This consultation period included a meeting of the Local Liaison Group and two public exhibitions held at the Hazlehead Community Centre, Provost Graham Avenue on 25th May (18:00 - 22:00) and 26th May (10:00 - 14:00). Comments received during this time were collated by SITA and considered before the planning application was finalised. The local liaison group included representatives from various local community groups and establishments.
The Local Liaison Group was established after the decision of the Housing and Environment Committee to designate the north west corner of the grove Nursery as the preferred site for a west of city Recycling Centre. The group was set up to give community groups the opportunity to voice their concerns, discuss potential mitigation measures, and feed into the design and development of the planning application. It also allowed the applicant to inform community groups of the work being undertaken and the major findings of the assessments.
What is a Recycling Centre?
Recycling Centres, also known as Civic Amenity Sites or Household Waste and Recycling Centres, are places where householders can take their bulky waste to be recycled. Modern Recycling Centres should have enough space to collect a wide range of different materials for recycling over and above those collected at kerbside including:
- Scrap metal
- Soil and rubble
- Electronic and electrical items
- Garden waste
- Household batteries
- Car batteries
- Cooking oil
Householders can also use the sites to dispose of any excess residual waste, however, the primary purpose of a Recycling Centre is to divert waste from landfill and therefore only a small percentage of the waste taken to a Centre should be sent for disposal.
Materials are not reprocessed at a Recycling Centre. Householders take their materials to the site where they are then bulked up and transferred to other facilities for reprocessing.
Why do we need more Recycling Centres?
All Councils in Scotland are facing increasing costs from waste disposal. Landfilling waste currently costs the Council £56 per tonne in Landfill Tax and this amount will go up every April until it reaches £80 per tonne in 2014. With the closure of the Aberdeen City landfill site at Hill of Tramaud at the end of 2010/early 2011 we now transport our waste for landfill to Stoneyhill near Peterhead. This has increased transport costs. By 2014/15, as a result of landfill tax increases and additional transport costs, the Council will be paying an additional £4.5 million per year for waste disposal with no additional benefit to residents. Doing nothing will cost us money.
As well as financial benefits for the city, there are environmental reasons for wanting to increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste we dispose of. Recycling prevents waste of resources and many of the materials that have traditionally gone to landfill could be manufactured into new products. Reducing this waste means that we can reduce the amount of new materials we take from the earth, which in turn prevents the loss of valuable habitats and reductions in biodiversity. Recycling materials is also less energy intensive than making products from new materials and therefore we can save energy sources and reduce emissions.
All in all, it is beneficial to recycle as much as possible including the 20% of waste produced by Aberdeen households that passes through Recycling Centres.
Recycling Centres should be capable of recycling around 70% of the waste taken into the site. In Aberdeen there are currently 4 Recycling Centres and further information on the materials accepted at each of the sites can be found on the Recycling Centres page.
The existing sites
- The Tullos site is on the East Tullos Industrial Estate and backs onto Tullos Hill. It is the only site in the South of the city and is the largest of the existing Recycling Centres. Due to its size, Tullos is currently the only Recycling Centre in the city that can accept: paint, wood, car tyres, and gas canisters.
- The Sclattie site is located on a small industrial area on Bankhead Avenue and is approximately 50m from the nearest residential property. This site, although larger than Perwinnes Moss, is too small to allow for the full range of materials to be recycled.
- This site is located on Scotstown Road opposite the Perwinnes Moss Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is around 80m from the nearest residential property. This is the smallest of the sites in the city and is now too small to operate as an effective, efficient Recycling Centre capable of segregating a wide range of materials. As a result, the Council is looking to replace the Perwinnes Moss Recycling Centre with a new facility in the Bridge of Don area.
- This site is located just north of the sports field on Pitmedden Road. This site, although larger than Perwinnes Moss, is too small to allow for the full range of materials to be recycled.
There are no sites between the River Dee and Bankhead.
The lack of appropriately sized facilities means that there are often queues at the Centres at peak times. This means people are less likely to take the time to separate their waste for recycling once they are in the site and it can put some people off going altogether. Both the lack of facilities and the lack of space at three of the sites mean that on average the Recycling Centres in Aberdeen only divert around 41% of waste taken in.
By developing sites such as the one proposed at Grove Nursery, which would be capable of separating a wide range of materials, it is our intention to see the end of the traffic queues currently experienced at the existing sites and increase recycling. It is estimated that when developed a site a Grove Nursery could be capable of raising the recycling rate for the Centres to above 60% and the citywide recycling rate by 2 percentage points.
Back to the Recycling Services home page.