Agenda item

Application Reference No. 1/21/9007. Proposal: Section 73 application to vary condition 2 of planning permission ref. 1/20/9013 to alter the design and layout of the approved buildings (including adjustments to the footprint and siting of the proposed extensions and an increase in height of part of the proposed southern extension element). Unit B, Kingmoor Park Rockcliffe Estate, Rockcliffe, Carlisle, CA6 4RW.

[Electoral Divisions: Longtown]


To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure


Mr Hamilton was not in the room for the whole of this item.


A report was considered from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure.


The Planning Officer made his presentation using plans and photographs. He drew attention to the update sheet which had been circulated to members and published on the Council’s website the day before the meeting. He highlighted that since the report was published the Applicant had reduced the footprint of the eastern part of the southern extension and consequently it was proposed to change condition 2 to reflect the updated plans. He also drew members’ attention was the further representation from Rockcliffe Parish Council. The Planning Officer did not think that it had raised further substantial issues.

A member commented that Unit B was an eyesore. The Planning Officer and Chair stated that this was not part of the current planning application but the Applicant did acknowledge it was dilapidated.

Another member referred to the operating hours and queried if objections had been raised to the lateness of operation. The Planning Officer reported that the operating hours had been agreed since 2018. It was acknowledged there had been some complaints about noise but that these related principally to the operation of temporary generators and that the complaints had not been validated to date.

A member referred to the detailed objection from Rockcliffe Parish Council contained within the report and asked for confirmation that members were only deciding on the minor changes to footprint and height. This was confirmed by the Chair, Planning Officer and EPW Lead Lawyer.

A member was glad that his concerns about drainage had been addressed and talked about the modifications to the height of the southern extension.

The Manager Development Control and Sustainable Development read out the following three Public Participation statements:

Mr T Parrini


This application is for the recladding of Shed B on the Rockcliffe Waste Recycling Sit and appears to allow for the storage of various waste materials prior to its reprocessing by various means such as the Pyrolysis Plants that are expected to be applied for at the Rockcliffe Site and at the Heathlands Site. This in addition to an incineration facility at Kingstown and Refuse Derived Fuel (RFD) facilities at Hespin Wood.


My major concern, in addition to the risk of environmental pollution that these various reprocessing facilities may cause, concerns the long-term impact of heavy goods vehicles throughout the area on what are ostensibly country roads in a rural area.


Whatever is loaded into B Shed on the Rockcliffe Site is in addition to the many loads of waste already being imported by Cumbria Waste Management and at some stage these materials have to be moved on by more vehicles. The 2 pyrolysis plants will need to import materials to maintain a 24/7 process and again the reprocessed materials moved elsewhere. In addition, the RFD facility at Hespin Wood will require further vehicle manoeuvres to takes the product elsewhere.


All this leads to the area north of the River Eden being labelled a dumping ground for the North West. From an environmental perspective, with 4 separate “burning” processes in such a small area, whichever way the wind blows, the local community is going to suffer some form of air pollution. There are various facilities for vulnerable people with special needs and care requirements in the area (Heathlands Centre, MENCAP, James Rennie School and a Chrysalis Day Care Centre) and if north Carlisle becomes the dumping and processing area for waste from not only Carlisle, then the future of these facilities will be in jeopardy.  


Now that the bigger picture is emerging there is the feeling that the attitude of the Authority to ride roughshod over the local community and to develop facilities at Rockcliffe, Heathlands, Hespin Wood and Kingmoor in a piecemeal manner without full consultation with the local community, totally ignoring local concerns and objections.



  1. The location of 4 separate incineration processes north of Carlisle, with the inherent additional movement of vehicles and the potential atmospheric pollution should be subject to a public enquiry.
  2. Clarification is needed as to whether all conflicts of interest by local councillor at Cumbria County Council or Carlisle City Council have been declared and made public as “nodding through” planning approvals at short notice appears to be the pattern in these matters.


Mrs S Tears


Yet again, another objection having to be made by the residents of Rockcliffe who I know are a long way away from where this decision is being made, and quite clearly the way you are granting approval in that area shows your contempt for fellow Cumbrians but please remember we, not you, are the ones putting up and enduring your decisions.


Our first concerns are the fire safety regulations.

There have already been 3 fires at the site the most recent one burned for a month exactly a year ago and still no repercussions or out come and yet  here you are glibly granting the mechanisms for a larger fire with no new fire procedures in place and we know what an unmitigated disaster the last fire was.


Our second concern is more traffic.

The roads are already at breaking point and adding extra is utter madness.


The third concern is pollution from dust, vermin and odour.


Every time they move the existing skips there are more rats, more dust and more stench. You don't have to live with that. We do.


I urge you to take off your push everything through at all costs hat because it makes you money and put your councillor hat on, you know, the one you wore when you first became a councillor and wanted to do what your constituents wanted not what you wanted.


Mr J Story


I am writing today to address my concerns and deep objection to the most recent increase and development of the North West recycling site. When the original proposal for the then waste knot development was proposed we received no notice on the subject, as the nearest residence to the site I thought it would be a priority especially when named as the nearest residence in the planning application. When I found out, it was too late to express our objection. The site was passed.


Later in that same year my family, community, home and business suffered the effects of a month long plastic fuelled fire at the North West recycling site. An estimated 450 tonnes of plastic burned the smoke from this was thick and noxious it also bellowed through asbestos structures potentially carrying asbestos particles along with the plastic ones in the smoke. My family home was victim to this smoke for one full day and worse one night, our two children aged one and three at the time went to bed in thick, hazy air which carried the stench of burning rubber in it, any parent that has to wonder about whether their child will asphyxiate in their own bed in their own home does not forget such a thing. They now use an asthma inhaler and are prone to coughs and wheezing. Both Rockcliffe and Blackford school has to close briefly as a precaution to this.


Not one year later and the business proposed to build bigger sheds to store more rubbish in. As a lifelong resident of the area I have seen two major fires at the Kingmoor park Rockcliffe site the other in the early to mid-2000's. In both cases fire fighters sited the location of the nearby water system as a constraint for fighting the blaze as any water or chemicals used to extinguish the flames would enter the water cause which serves the river Eden. The effects to the health of the people must be acknowledged. In my own experience the fumes could be recognised at both Rosehill and Gretna. Rockcliffe alone has an estimated population of 4,123 people, other than people's health there seems to have been no repercussions for the blaze. In further regard to the safety of the area the size and weight of the lorries is a major concern I regularly see two vehicles struggling to pass each other. In my lifetime I have seen lorries fall over the bank of the road(c1016) the last was a wood lorry in 2009. The roads are not suitable for the roads which at dark have neither lighting or markings.


The complaints of refuge spilling from these lorries is an issue at every Rockcliffe parish council meeting, shredded plastic is found in hedges, drives and my land from the site and heading past cargo. I have gathered plastic from my fields and on occasion had to remove it from the mouths of my stock. I cannot see everything my cattle ingest. The updated application also mentions medical waste, asbestos and food waste being processed.


Why is asbestos being sent here and not straight to disposal? Surely in the interest of every one, one journey with as little handling is best for every one? Also as noted we are 140 metres away from the site. The proposed 10 tonne of asbestos a day I find alarming to my families health, add to that the absence of any form of solid fence as currently all that exists is the original chain link fence which is patched in places with mesh tied with rope!


Vermin will thrive on food waste, only today we have noticed rats on the farm after rubble was being moved yesterday (28.11.22). Rats use all kinds of materials for nests. Medical bandages, dressings and disposable PPE would be a haven for these creatures and who knows what the history of these dressing were before ending up there? A pandemic was only last year! Also crows, pigeons and seagulls are all scavengers. In times of avian flu birds picking through refuse could be more susceptible. And also, where do these scavengers then go? The river Eden, an S.S.S.I is in close proximity. The scavenging birds intermingling with the geese, ducks and swans there could pose a risk to the spread of avian disease.


Again as earlier noted, plastic is continually blowing from the HGVs littering the roads and country side, the thought of hazardous asbestos, medical waste of food waste discharging from transport in a similar way is unacceptable, there is a national cycle network route and hope of a roadside footpath here.


The most recently altered diagrams added last week after the plans were submitted. Now show an open ended shed. After addressing the issues of vermin, odour, fugitive waste and noise an open-ended shed is now being considered a good idea? We have a registered complaint about noise earlier this year and an ongoing issue with the noise from the four noisy generators. These generators ran day and night at full revs at the Queen’s Jubilee earlier this year disturbing the rest of all my family and even other residents in Cargo Hill. If either of our children woke through the night the generators were the first sound you could recognise and upon trying to return to sleep your thoughts would still be 'can I hear that noise still?' The lighting at the site is another issue I need to address spotlights glare into one of my child's bedroom the worst of which are three bright blue ones at the top of the shed nearest our home (photo attached). The increased height and size of the new design will make this issue even worse than it already is. The proposed removal of the trees in the area will further remove any cover offered to both noise and sound. If any appraisers would like to visit our home to verify this, they are welcome. I thank you for your time and ask please do not put the hopes of the future behind the profits of today.


 Sincerely the Story family, Bankend Farm, Rockliffe.


The Planning Officer was invited to comment on the statements.


He flagged that Mr Story’s statement included a handful of false allegations and misleading points. He advised that no processing of medical, food or asbestos waste occurs on the site. Acknowledged asbestos material could be brought onto the site but only in a waste transfer capacity (i.e. for collection and bulking-up for onward movement). He advised that Unit B would not be open ended building and that all waste would be contained within the building. He stated that the Waste Knott proposal did not involve Unit B.


A member referred to a recent fire at the premises and asked if a fire occurred again it would not take a month to get under control. The Planning Officer drew attention to the assessment of fire safety concerns in the report and highlighted the existing and proposed fire detection and prevention measures within Unit B.


After a member asked whether conditions were more robust since the last planning permission was granted, the Planning Officer talked about the Environmental Management scheme, powers of the Environment Agency, fire safety regulatory powers and mitigating measures to avoid a fire.


After being asked if he was confident that any breach of conditions would be addressed, the Planning Officer talked about the need for a multi regulatory approach to address the various concerns raised by representees in respect of the site. It was noted that the Environment Agency considered the applicant to currently be compliant with the requirements of the site’s Environmental Permit. The Manager Development Control and Sustainable Development gave reassurance that officers worked with other organisations and services on breaches but in this case everything that could be done in planning terms had been done.


A member asked whether the increase in height would mean an increase in production and pollution. The Planning Officer explained about the environmental management controls in place for vermin and added that the change in height was to provide access to the upper tiers of the processing equipment  and as such would not create additional capacity for the storage of waste.


Before moving that the recommendation as set out in the report, amended by the Update Sheet be agreed, Mr McGuckin expressed his respect for the objectors’ concerns and highlighted that if members did not agree to the application then the original planning application would still go ahead. The motion was seconded by Mr Turner who concurred with Mr McGuckin’s points.


A member supported the view that bigger machinery may be used due to the increased space and therefore more noise pollution may be emitted. He noted the HGV traffic movements and subsequent impact on the roads. He was concerned that residents said they had not been consulted. The Planning Officer talked about the findings of the 2017 noise assessment, the planning condition proposed to ensure that there was no unacceptable noise impact and reiterated the reasons for increased height. He added that the increase in height wouldn’t affect the number of HGVs and that the Highways Authority had not objected. The publicity undertaken in respect of the application was explained and the reason for not issuing a neighbour notification to Bankend Farm was explained.


Mr Hamilton and Mr McEwan left the meeting during this item so did not take part in the vote.

The Chair moved to the vote which was cast as follows: 11 in favour of the motion, 1 Against (Mr Roberts) and 0 Abstentions. Mr Hamilton and Mr McEwan were not present at the vote as they had left the meeting.


RESOLVED  that, Planning Permission be granted subject to the conditions set out in Appendix 1 to the report and as modified by the Update Sheet.


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