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Row continues over controversial recycling plant on landfill

The row over Canterbury’s landfill is due to rumble on after the public consultation for it shut yesterday.

Valencia Waste Management, who run the Shelford landfill site in Canterbury, came under fire after building a new recycling plant site without planning permission earlier this year.

Shelford is located outside of the city, but one edge of the landfill is about 200 metres away from Hales Place.

Birds’ eye view of Canterbury Image Source- Google Earth


Shelford is about 200 metres from Hales Places Image Source- Google Earth

Residents were left angry after building work began on the site despite no planning permission being granted leaving the operators having to apply for planning permission retrospectively.

The new plant is not operational as Valencia is yet to secure a permit from Kent County Council or the Environmental Agency. A public consultation was subsequently launched in April but Valencia has since amended their application hoping to increase capacity to 250,000 tonnes a year.

Planning permission was granted for a recycling plant almost two decades ago but the new facility is much bigger and in a different location than the originally planned one.

This has sparked considerable criticism with a petition demanding an investigation into the affair receiving almost 500 signatures.

The petition was started by Dr. Magz Hall, a professor at Canterbury Christ Church University, who has been critical of Shelford for many years.

She said the recycling plant had been built without planning permission and was much bigger than they had permission for two decades ago.

“Over 400 people have signed my petition now about the issues because it turns out that only 30% of that new 100,000 tonnes of waste is going to be recycled,” she said. “So that means we will getting a lot more rubbish on the tip and it not even a tip anymore it’s a landpile.

“It’s appalling, clearly the way in which this has been done (building the plant) is what I would say is underhand because the wider public don’t know what’s going on until the very last minute because it’s all been done without planning permission.

“They are applying for this permit, so we will have to wait and see what Kent County Council decide they want to do. Obviously this goes against the council’s plans for a greener Canterbury.

“The landfill is now a landpile and you can see it in the skyline of Canterbury. It’s towering over people’s houses who live next to it.”

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