'Our village is being turned into a dump'
FAMILIES who claim their community has become the dumping ground for North Staffordshire's waste have won support from councillors in their campaign to stop another recycling plant opening.
Dozens of residents staged a protest outside Newcastle Borough Council's civic offices last night to show their opposition to plans for the site at Holditch.
Hamptons wants to relocate its existing waste operations in Keele Road, Turner Crescent and Parkhouse East to the new location off Holditch Road, which used to be home to a gas works.
Now the borough council's planning committee has agreed to lodge a formal objection to it, on the grounds the recycling facility would have an adverse impact on the area and would be in breach of the local waste core strategy.
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But the final decision over whether to approve the development rests with Staffordshire County Council.
Jason Farr, from Chesterton, helped coordinate last night's demonstration on behalf of the newly-formed Residents Organised Against Recycling Site (ROARS) action committee.
The 42-year-old taxi driver said: "We've got in excess of 3,000 signatures on a petition. Chesterton is getting swamped by industry.
"There are already at least seven sites in the area that deal with recycling. The site in Holditch Road is right opposite Chesterton Primary School and near elderly people's homes."
Residents say they are already suffering from air pollution and fear 'over-intensification' of industry will have an effect on people's health.
Mick Meakin lives at Broad Meadows Court, a residential complex for the over-55s that is just metres away from the proposed development.
The 61-year-old said: "Some of the very elderly people don't go out. They are going to have to put up with the noise and pollution from the site all day long.
"We are not against recycling. We have got to have things like this, just not in our back garden. There are better places for it."
And echoing the concerns, Marjorie Garner, aged 76, from Chesterton, said: "We've got enough industry and enough rubbish. We don't want it."
Hamptons maintains the recycling plant will create 22 jobs and would have landscaping and acoustic barriers. The waste would include metals, cardboard, builders' bags, paper, plastic, and glass.
Holditch councillor Mick Clarke proposed the motion at last night's meeting to object to the plans.
He said: "This site is not far away from schools and about 50 metres away from properties. I think it's abominable."
Chesterton councillor Eddie Boden also raised concerns and said the area was "paying the price" of industrial development.
He added: "We must put the brakes on things. There must be a way of sharing the load throughout North Staffordshire."