DORCHESTER Town Council is warning that the need for a new household recycling centre to replace the ‘woefully inadequate’ current facility will not go away.
Wessex Water owns the site of the long-standing centre at Louds Mill off St George’s Road and after making assurances that it has no plans to reclaim the land in the near future, the pressing need for a new facility appears to have eased.
But after the issue was discussed by the town council’s planning committee, chairman of the committee Susie Hosford said the council has written to West Dorset District Council asking for a future site to be included in the local plan it is currently working on.
Previously a site was proposed at Poundbury, but this caused widespread opposition from local residents and, with Wessex Water giving assurances that it would not be needing the current site in the short term, the search for an alternative site was put on hold. However, Cllr Hosford says that with a growing population and increasing traffic problems with the existing site, there is still a need to find somewhere to offer a future solution.
She said: “We still think it’s a priority that a new site is identified and designated because the problem is not going to go away and we don’t want a panicked, knee-jerk reaction.
“When you compare it to the sites at Bridport, Sherborne and other places it’s woefully inadequate and its past its sell by date.
“With the number of people in Dorchester it needs and deserves a more modern, user-friendly facility.”
Cllr Hosford said that it was important that the town council did its utmost to keep the issue in the mind of the district and Dorset County Council, even if the short-term need for a new facility had been resolved.
She said: “We felt we needed to keep the pressure on.
“Although it does not appear to be urgent at this precise moment in time, it will not go away and will become critical at a future date.”
Matter for the Partnership
A SPOKESMAN for West Dorset District Council said that the household recycling facility would not be a matter for its local plan but would be for the Dorset Waste Partnership to look at in its waste local plan.
She said that the district council would be referring the town council’s request onto the Dorset Waste Partnership.
Michael Garrity, Dorset County Council planning policy team leader, said: “Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole councils recently consulted on issues around the creation of a new Waste Plan for the county.
“This identified a need for improved facilities for residents in Dorchester.
“We are still at an early stage in preparing the plan and very much welcome the input and thoughts of Dorchester Town Council and others.
“The new plan, when complete, will provide a framework for addressing all waste management infrastructure needs in Dorset, including any potential new or replacement household recycling centres.”
For details visit dorsetforyou.com/waste-plan