Last week, I met residents of Clayton Street to listen to their concerns about proposals to erect and operate a mobile asphalt plant on Burnden Business Park.
Whilst the site was previously home to another mobile asphalt manufacturing plant, it was a different type of operation. This new proposal will create more traffic, more noise and more air and light pollution. It will undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on people living nearby.
This proposal is wholly inappropriate and I have sent in an objection on behalf of the residents, which you can read below.
05043/18 | ERECTION AND OPERATION OF A MOBILE ASPHALT MANUFACTURING PLANT | BURNDEN BUSINESS PARK, BURNDEN ROAD, BOLTON, BL3 2RD
Last Monday, I met residents of Clayton Street to listen to their concerns about the above planning application.
I understand that the site was previously home to another mobile asphalt manufacturing plant, but that this was only for the provision of mastic, used for flooring or roofing, whereas the proposed new plant will be for the provision of ‘road stone’. There is a great difference between these types of operation. The manufacture of road stone requires deliveries of aggregate to the site which, according to the documentation, will require numerous waggon-loads each day.
The entrance to the site is narrow, and the volume of waggons would cause problems in terms of congestion, not only in the site entrance, but also on Burnden Road, leading up to the site. Even now, at busy times, the junction of Raikes Lane and Burnden Road, can be extremely congested, leaving traffic unable to exit the A666 and causing tailbacks on the A666 carriageway. Currently, if a single vehicle has to wait to turn right from Burnden Road into the section of Raikes Lane which leads to Lloyds Metal Processors, it can bring the whole area to a standstill.
I visited the business park, and could see how narrow the route is from the business park’s entrance gate to the proposed site. If cars are parked in the standard parking bays, I very much doubt that waggons would be able to make the turn left towards the proposed entrance to the site. If another vehicle happened to be coming the opposite way at the same time, then neither vehicle would be able to pass. If such a situation should occur, then other waggons would be forced to queue up on Burnden Road, which would then bring that narrow road to a standstill. There could be up to 50 HGVs per operational day (8 per hour) which would have a massive impact on both traffic and on air quality. I fundamentally disagree with the comments Highways and Engineering about the site being suitable for such HGV movements as they do not appear to take into consideration the existing parking arrangements for the other businesses located on this business park.
Therefore, I do not believe that the development should be allowed on the grounds of traffic/highways management.
The production of road stone creates a lot of dust, which will have a detrimental effect on the air quality in the vicinity, and to wherever the wind carries it. In addition to the air pollution, it will cause a layer of dust to settle over everything – roads, houses, gardens, etc. The photographs in the documents accompanying the planning application show a plant which has absolutely nothing in the surrounding area. The proposed Burnden site has houses only 100m away. The air quality report states: “The design of the plant will allow full dispersal and dilution of the particulate matter into the atmosphere and there will be no ground level effects associated with the particulate matter arising from the asphalt manufacturing process.” However, this site is situated in a dip, below the level of the houses, the top of the conveyor will be at the same height as the houses, and the chimney slightly higher, so this will deliver airborne particulates and fumes from the asphalt directly to the residential area, and there are schools in the vicinity which would be affected. Residents are also concerned about the smell from bitumen fumes affecting their quality of life. A further consideration is Burnden Clough – a Council-owned woodland alongside the River Croal. A mobile asphalt plant could have an extremely detrimental effect on both flora and fauna there and there is a risk of water course contamination.
Allowing this development to go ahead would increase air pollution in this area at a time when the Greater Manchester Combined Authority is currently drawing up a ‘Clean Air Plan’ to try to resolve the problem of air pollution from traffic, and the A666, adjacent to this site, has been identified as an area of high pollution, so why put a plant which will produce more pollution at the side of it?
The air quality reports make reference to a quarry, but there is no quarry nearby. This site is in an urban setting, very close to a residential area.
The most recent Greater Manchester Minerals Policy states that there is no additional need for ‘road stone’, so I would argue that there is no market requirement for the building of the plant, and seems superfluous in terms of making Greater Manchester a self-sustaining economy.
The proposed opening times of the plant are unacceptable to nearby residents – 07:00 is too early for such a noisy plant. It appears from the documents that the operation time on weekends and Bank Holidays will be until 00:00 (midnight). I assume that this is a typographical error and that it should actually be 12:00 (midday), as I cannot imaging opening times until midnight would be permitted. Reference is also made to a potential need for 24-hour operation, should demand require it. This is wholly unacceptable to the nearby residents, and as has been established, there will be no local demand.
It should additionally be noted that there is a lack of clarity in the nomenclature of the proposal. The proposal refers to the building as a ‘asphalt’ plant, whereas the intended processing procedure of the plant is to recycle aggregate to create ‘road stone’. Greater Manchester Minerals Plan clauses 3.8.1 and 3.8.2 clarify the difference, and the consequential environmental impact.
I would be grateful if you could look into this and consider this as a formal objection to the proposal application.