Neighbours health fears

A BUSINESS which processes hazardous rubbish has won a time extension despite protests.

Blakeleys Waste Management received the go-ahead to transform the former Foscolor plastic pigments works in Bickershaw into a transfer station in 2008, but has not yet gone ahead with the project.

Neighbours called on the council to revoke the planning permission because it had not been acted on.

Planning councillors heard there had been 11 objections from householders fearful of the effects on the quality of lives and potential health fears.

Although classed as hazardous under environmental protect act, the Bickershaw Lane base won’t handle radioactive, clinical, infectious or explosive waste. It will process auto-engine oil filters, used lubricating oil, aerosol cans, used car batteries, old televisions and computers, used street lamps and out of date prescription medicines.

The 100 tonnes of waste capacity will arrive at the transfer station in up to five small curtain side lorries per day, before being sampled and checked and then sub-divided and stored in containers to be taken away for re-use and recycling elsewhere.

It will create 10 jobs.

But resident Margaret Jones, who lives just 150 metres away, complained to councillors she fears the business will make it impossible to enjoy the garden of her home.

She said that the neighbours are already troubled by foul smells from the existing Blakeley’s waste handling business - a few hundred yards away from the Foscolor works, based in what was once Wigan Junction Colliery.

Mrs Jones said: “Last July I had relatives from Canada staying with me and I was totally embarrassed at not being able to sit out with them. Why this was ever allowed so near to residential areas I do not know.”

But planning service director Steve Normington said that although Blakeley’s had yet to make a start on the transfer station operation, they still considered it the “most viable, practical and best-suited” operation in their waste recycling strategy.

Councillors approved the scheme by majority decision.