Waste firm move approved despite objections

Wednesday March 1st 2023


Eldin Industrial Estate will be home to Hamilton Waste and Recycling under new plans.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A new recycling centre is to open in Midlothian despite 200 representations from residents.

Hamilton Waste and Recycling, which already operates Smeaton Bing in East Lothian applied for a change of use of brownfield land at Eldin Industrial Estate just off the A720, for its expansion.

And despite concerns being raised about the impact on wildlife, a nearby school and families, Midlothian planning committee approved the plans by nine votes to seven yesterday.

Councillors were told the site, which was originally used as a slaughterhouse, had been used by other waste transfer firms for over 20 years before the last one closed in 2019.

Keir Hamilton, director of the recycling firm, said: “We’re obviously delighted that the council has approved our plans for a recycling centre at Loanhead.

“These proposals will make a significant contribution to reducing waste and helping reduce CO2 emissions, whilst at the same time they will provide genuinely sustainable material for the construction industry.

“We look forward to working closely with the council and the local community to make a success of this major investment in Loanhead.”

The proposed change of use of the land for Hamilton Waste and Recycling was recommended for approval by planning officers.

However it was called in by council leader Kelly Parry, local ward member, over the high number of public comments received.

Councillor Parry questioned whether all local concerns had been addressed and raised concerns about some of the mitigation measures included in the council officers’ report including ‘mitigation measures’ for its impact on bats, badgers, Straiton pond and nesting birds on neighbouring land.

Peter Arnsdorf, council planning chief, told the committee a number of representations had raised concerns about traffic onto the site which had been addressed by a condition stopping trucks going through residential streets.

On the wildlife mitigation, he said: “This is a situation where you have a waste transfer site proposal, often at a waste transfer site there is concern about dust and how that dust travels and where it settles.

“Next to the proposed site is Straiton Pond. What is proposed is to mitigate the dust and what is usually used is water to keep the material damp so that dust doesn’t go up in the air and travel off the site.”

Councillor Parry also raised concerns about how close the site was to a safe route to school and the number of representations made by the public.

She said: “I think any application where we get 215 representations from our communities, we need to ensure all of them are explored.”

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