A building on a Tamworth industrial estate can now be used as a medical waste treatment plant – despite objections from hundreds of people.
Health risks, 24 hour traffic and air pollution are just some of the concerns raised by residents in response to Stericycle’s plans to move from its current facility in Four Ashes to Lichfield Road Industrial Estate.
The closest homes to the site are 100 metres away.
There will be facilities for treating hazardous waste and 57 people are set to be employed at the site.
A petition was signed by 390 people, a report to Staffordshire County Council’s planning committee said.
It added: “The concerns raised in the 31 representations and petition are the facility, although needed, is too close to residential areas and a playing field; consequently, the risk of air pollution and odours; night time noise from reversing alarms, from the loading and emptying of vehicles and containers and from the use of the roller shutter doors; and, the risk to human health from outside storage and from sharps being spilled on the Lichfield Road which is used by school children.
Councillor Jeremy Oates, who represents the Bolebridge ward in Tamworth, told Thursday’s committee meeting (February 6): “I have been written to by a number of residents and I have had sight of the petition of 390 signatures. I wanted to raise members’ awareness of the proximity to residential properties – the site is really hemmed in by residential properties.
“This has caused a great deal of concern in the community regarding the risk of contamination and pollution from the processes on the site. The biggest concern they have is with vehicle movements.”
But the committee voted to approve the change of use however.
Councillor Alan Dudson said: “I don’t think there is any reason we can object to this application,”
The report to the committee said: “The applicant currently operates a healthcare waste treatment plant and transfer facility at Station Road, Four Ashes which is due to close when the current lease expires in 2020.
“The majority of the waste received at the facility would be produced by the NHS, with the largest single contract being with the West Midlands Clinical Waste Consortium, a group of NHS trusts in the region. To service the public and private hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, health centres, dental practices and other producers of similar type wastes, the operations would take place on a 24 hour / seven days per week, 365 days per year basis.
“The facility would have the capacity to treat up to two tonnes of healthcare waste per hour with an annual throughput of 17,500 tonnes and the capacity to transfer an additional 6,000 tonnes of waste per year to be sent for recovery or disposal.”