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Padworth waste plans up for debate

Applications to take household waste and alter opening hours set for approval

Application to ease West Berkshire 'waste wars' woes submitted

PLANS that will allow residents to dump their household waste in Padworth look set to be approved tonight (Wednesday). 

Veolia Environmental Services has asked to change the use of the Padworth Integrated Waste Management Facility in Padworth Lane. 

The company, which operates the facility on behalf of West Berkshire Council, has also asked to alter the opening hours to between 8am and 6pm Mondays to Sundays.

The centre is currently open from 12.30pm until 6pm on weekdays and from 8am until 6pm at weekends. 

The applications follow residents in the east of the district having to make a round trip of up to 30 miles to dispose of their household waste at Newbury since 2016, when the council withdrew its funding to the cross-local authority partnership re3.

This resulted in re3 banning West Berkshire residents from using the Smallmead Recycling Centre in Reading.

Veolia said that the Padworth facility had been underused since it opened in 2011.

The original planning application anticipated that approximately 5,700 tonnes a year would be deposited at the site in 2012, rising to 7,200 tonnes by 2025.

But Veolia said that, while the tonnage had increased, the unaudited figure for 2016/2017 is approximately 2,300 tonnes (30 per cent of the original prediction).

And while the company expects tonnage to rise to up to 6,000 a year, it added that it would be unlikely to rise above the initial estimate of 7,200.

Furthermore, weekday visits were also expected to average 441 a day and 1,093 a day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Again, Veolia said that traffic movements are significantly less than anticipated. 

Arguing its case, Veolia said that the plans had “become necessary because of financial decisions made by West Berkshire Council that are outside the control of planning”. 

Council officers have recommended that the plans be approved at a meeting of the eastern area planning committee tonight.

They said: “Currently residents in the east of the district must travel large distances to deposit non-recyclable waste or to use a household waste recycling centre in the morning.

“It is accepted, therefore, that there is a need for Padworth HWRC to accept non-recyclable waste and to be open on weekday mornings.”

However, a number of objections have been raised by local residents.

One states: “The proposed increase in the hours of operation of the waste facility would have a harmful effect on highway safety and upon the amenity of neighbouring residents.” 

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