'If this goes up, Weston Coyney will have its very own Berlin Wall:' Plans for seven metre-high fence at European Metal Recycling site thrown out
CONTROVERSIAL plans to install a seven metre-high fence at a recycling centre have been thrown out.
European Metal Recycling (EMR) applied to put up the acoustic fencing in an effort to reduce noise pollution at its Weston Coyney site.
But hundreds of residents living close to the Parkhall Road centre objected to the plans, claiming the 23-foot tall structure would block out light, be unsightly and would do little to cut noise levels.
George Hughes, of nearby Harington Drive, spoke out about his concerns at a meeting of Stoke-on-Trent City Council's development management committee yesterday.
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He said: "There is no definite proof that this wall will reduce the noise nuisance, which is so terrible at times that people have been driven out of their gardens because they cannot stand it.
"If this was to go ahead, we would lose the right to a peaceful existence and our right to light.
"Are we to live in the shadows of this place for the foreseeable future?
"If this goes up, we will have our very own Berlin Wall and we do not want that."
Committee members also raised fears over the proposals.
Councillor Terry Follows said: "It seems as though EMR has been allowed to develop and grow without any input from the Environment Agency or residents.
"Seven metres is high and, if we give permission for these barriers, we are also allowing them to stack things at this level."
Committee chairman Tom Reynolds said: "The Environment Agency cannot say with confidence that the noise will be greatly reduced by these barriers.
"In regards to the visual impact, there is quite clearly a negative effect which will be detrimental to residents."
Councillor Jack Brereton added: "It is clear this wall is not going to mitigate all of the problems the site is causing. I feel it would be detrimental to residents to allow this to be built."
EMR attended a public inquiry in January after residents complained about a tower of steel columns, storage bays and buildings which had been put up at the site without planning permission.
The company, formerly Arthur Wright and Son, is still waiting to hear the results from the inquiry.
Councillor Janine Bridges told yesterday's meeting: "There seems to be a woeful lack of willingness by EMR to communicate with the council and residents.
"I feel we should be vigilant here because they seem to have a history of doing what they like no matter what."