Waste transfer station brings no junction improvements for Dunmow

IMPROVEMENTS to a “dangerous” junction may be further away than first feared after a controversial planning application was resubmitted.

Essex County Council (ECC) has submitted revised plans for a waste transfer station on Chelmsford Road which will allow for the bulking up of the district’s waste before being transported elsewhere.

The site would bring more traffic to the Hoblongs Junction which has been a concern to councillors for many years. It was hoped that major improvements would need to be carried out on the junction before any development was passed.

However, despite concerns over the safety of the junction, a survey carried out by ECC and Essex Highways found that the “low volume” of traffic estimated would not impact the road network…therefore “no improvement works would be required”.

This has angered councillors who have accused ECC of shying away from what needs to be done.

District councillor Keith Mackman said: “The district and town council should be pushing for major improvements to Hoblongs Junction before any development is approved.

“That junction is very dangerous and this will only make things worse. ECC is shying away from necessary work because it knows it will be costly.”

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The application has also been criticised because, while smaller than the original, it does not feature a recycling centre for residents – the main reason it was approved initially.

The design and access statement clearly outlines that the applications is for “a waste transfer station only…and does not include facilities for the general public”.

Instead, a main building will fully enclose the handling operation to reduce any negative impacts on the environment. Following complaints received during consultation the new application has reduced the overall height to 9.76m.

Town mayor Ron Clover said: “The general feeling is that we don’t want it. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a facility that the public can use but they can’t.

“It will mean that is residents need to get rid of something like an old fridge then they will still have to travel to Bishop’s Stortford, Braintree or Saffron Walden.

“The application in 2009 was passed because we wanted the civic amenity, if that is not part of the plans then we don’t want the waste transfer station.

The town council will be discussing the waste transfer station at a meeting tonight (Thursday) before formulating a response. Residents can view the application at Uttlesford.gov.uk

WHAT do you think, should Dunmow have a waste transfer station? E-mail michael.edwards@archant.co.uk