16 April 2024

Asphalt plant given the go-ahead at third time of asking

by Rebecca Hannant

Plans for a controversial asphalt plant near Brandesburton have been approved at the third time of asking.

At a meeting of East Riding Council’s planning committee meeting on Thursday, March 28, the proposal for a plant near Catfoss by Dewsbury-based Newlay Asphalt was approved, to the dismay of local campaigners.

Newlay Asphalt had previously submitted two proposals. The first was rejected in August 2022, and revised plans were rejected in August 2023.

As part of further revised plans submitted in November 2023, Matthew Good of Newlay Asphalt said the planned height of a chimney stack had been lowered from 20 metres to 15 metres to fit within the character of the area. He also said that Newlay Asphalt planned to plant trees and bushes to screen it from view.

The plant would, he said, run from Monday to Friday between the hours of 5am to 4.30pm, on Saturdays from 7am to noon, and it would be closed at all other times.

Local campaign group Communities Reject Asphalt Plant restated its previous concerns, saying that the development was still not wanted in the area because of the increased traffic, noise, environmental damage and reliance on rural roads. The campaigners were also concerned about the number of asphalt plants in the area including an existing one near Hull which they say already adequately serves the area.

In total, the planning application received 347 objections from residents and businesses across the Brandesburton area.

Brandesburton Parish Council also opposed the proposal.

In a statement submitted to the East Riding Planning Access Portal, it said: “Brandesburton Parish Council objects in the strongest possible terms to this application. By the applicant’s own admission this is an almost identical application to that refused in August 2023.

“The minimal changes made in no way address the concerns raised previously by the parish council and the hundreds who objected in the community.

“It also patently fails to address the reasons for refusal by East Riding Council last time around.”

Among the campaigners’ concerns was that the proposed development was outside development limits. They claimed that the surrounding land uses were for agriculture and light industry, and therefore the proposal was out of character with the area. They also claimed that reducing the chimney stack height may limit visual intrusion, but it would lessen the dispersal of vented materials, and that odours, dust and noise could affect residents, workers and the environment.

Campaigners also argued that the proposal could have a negative effect on the local economy, saying that local businesses were most concerned by the plans, and they feared that tourism and agriculture would also be harmed.

They added that the potential for 60 heavy goods vehicles and 30 smaller vehicles per day, moving 100 tonnes of asphalt per hour, would cause traffic problems. Access to the A165 from Catfoss Lane was already fraught with difficulties and accident-prone, they said.

Speaking at the planning meeting on March 28, objector Jackie Suthenwood said: “The previous application was unanimously refused, and this one is barely changed but significantly reduces the stack height to 15 metres.

“At the time this was classed as essential to safely disperse emissions, yet we had no explanation of how the five-metre lowering would impact the area.

“We welcomed clarification of the LPG fuel to power the plant, but this introduces yet another health and safety concern not previously addressed – the potential for explosion.

“We noted how animal receptors were omitted from the assessments and this is important because of animals’ heightened sensitivity and the consequential economic impact on the operation of the neighbouring kennels and cattery.”

East Riding councillors were split on the application, with six voting for and six against, and one abstention, meaning the final decision rested with the chairman, Cllr Matt Rogers, who gave final approval.