Permission for recycling site near Castle Fraser refused

PLANNING permission to change land use from agricultural to a recycling area for inert waste with associated landscaping and an office building at Castle Fraser Moss, Kemnay by CFM (Dunecht) Ltd, was refused by members of the Garioch Area Committee on Tuesday (September 18) following a site visit by local councilors.

A previous application had also been refused in 2011, and Enforcement and Stop Notices were served after the site was already being used to store inert waste from other sites.

The application was subject to 26 letters of objection that raised concerns including the visual impact, noise impact, the number of lorry movements, traffic on a narrow road the impact on wildlife and concerns over drainage.

The application also received three letters of support stating the site’s location was ideal for use by large and small local businesses, reducing the costs of transporting inert wastes and that the facility was an “essential service to the local business community.”

Echt and Skene Community Council had noted that the new application had addressed some of the concerns from the previous application, but expressed doubts that the new design would be adhered to and that there must be more suitable locations to site such a business, that there was no guarantee that trees between the site and Lyne of Skene would remain and questions whether the size and weight of processing machinery had been taken into account by the council’s Infrastructure Services.

Cluny, Midmar and Monymusk Community Council objected to the application as the site is too close to a prehistoric hut settlement, that the proposed hours of business are too long and concerns that there is a discrepancy between the amount of material indicated that would be processed and the amount indicated to be produced.

The council’s Infrastructure Services (Archaeology) had recommended conditions requiring fencing around a buffer zone around a potential prehistoric hut circle on the site and that an archaeological survey be carried out.

The council’s Planning and Environmental Service had recommended that application be granted for a temporary period of five years subject to conditions including that operations on site are restricted to 7.30am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays and 7.30am to 1pm on Saturdays.

The committee were addressed by two objectors to the proposal and also one in support.

Westhill and District councillor Amanda Allan, said that noise levels were the biggest issue concerning the proposals, leading to possible disruption to the lives of nearby residents. She also highlighted concerns over increased traffic from lorries, and the fact that the applicant was not in control of trees surrounding the site, which could be removed and lessen the screening.

Fellow Westhill and District councilor Ron McKail noted that the majority of those supporting the development did not live near it, and added he was “not convinced that there would not be an impact on the quality of life” of those living nearby.

Councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes felt that there was not sufficient information to determine the application, noting that one of the main issues was of dust created by rock breaking machinery. He added it would have been useful to have had an indication of the levels of noise and dust created by machinery.

East Garioch councillor Martin Ford said that the application was “difficult to deal with”, recognising that facilities of this type were needed but that it was “difficult to see where they should go” he expressed concerns over the effect on the amenity of neighbouring properties and the fact they would be exposed to very long hours of background noise. He added that the committee couldn’t refuse permission on principal but thought that there were sufficient concerns over the impact on the amenity of the neighbouring properties.

Fellow East Garioch councillor Fergus Hoods expressed concerns regarding the National Grid high pressure gas pipeline that crossed the access to the site with regards to volume of heavy traffic that would be crossing it.

Inverurie and District councillor Bryan Stuart agreed with the pipeline concerns and also said that he had issues over the transport movements and felt the site was constrained in terms of the volume of material it could handle and store.

The committee agreed unanimously to refuse planning permission for the application.