Securing a new recycling centre to serve Mansfield and Ashfield and meet the needs of the county’s growing population is a priority, councillors decided at the County Council’s Communities and Place Committee today (Thursday, July 19).
Local plans being brought forward by local district and borough councils identify an extra 64,000 new dwellings across the county over the next 15 years, which will create an extra 38,000 tonnes of household waste.
Around 15,000 of these homes are expected in Mansfield and Ashfield, so a need to provide more recycling capacity for residents has been identified.
It is hoped that the funding for a new recycling facility could be gained from developer contributions as part of planning permissions for larger housing developments in the Mansfield, Kirkby and Sutton areas over the coming years.
Sutton Recycling Centre, which was located off Huthwaite Road in the town, was closed in 2010 as planning policies would not permit the keeping of a stand-alone recycling facility following the closure of the nearby landfill site.
A feasibility study has been carried out on the reopening of this facility, but its construction predates recent planning and environmental controls so would need new planning permissions.
The site is not identified for development in Ashfield Local Plan for 2002 or Ashfield’s emerging replacement local plan so would not satisfy current planning policies, which prefer industrial areas for recycling facilities.
A reopened site would also clash with the surrounding area which has been restored as protected public open space known as Rookery Park.
The feasibility study also found considerable physical upgrading was required as the site is built on unstable land and does not meet current drainage and groundwater protection requirements.
Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of the Council’s Communities and Place Committee, said: “It makes little sense to look to reopen Sutton Recycling Centre due to the huge financial costs, planning issues and restrictions of the site.
“Most of the area’s new housing is also expected to be in Mansfield and eastern fringes of Sutton and Kirkby, so the former site’s location would be inconvenient for its growing population.
“We believe that in the longer term a new purpose-built larger centre in a more central location in Mansfield and Ashfield would be the best option for local residents.”