Manufacturing plant which will 'tower over' small Yorkshire village is approved by planners

A manufacturing plant residents say will “tower over” a small Yorkshire village has been granted planning permission by councillors.

Sellite Blocks will now press ahead with their plan to build a foamed glass making facility, which will be used to make thermally-efficient building blocks for the construction industry, on the edge of Great Heck.

Selby Independents and Yorkshire Party group councillor John McCartney said he had never seen such a high percentage of the village oppose an application in nearly 30 years as a councillor, with 77 objections registered.

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The site on a former quarry, which is 300 metres away from the nearest dwelling in Great Heck but just 100 metres from the nearest property, is already occupied by Sellite Blocks.

Sellite Blocks will now press ahead with their plan to build a foamed glass making facility

The 24 metre-high plant, which will turn waste glass into material for the blocks, will be operational off Long Lane for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Heck parish councillor John Hunter said: “Heck is a residential community, not an industrial complex. The plan will envelop the village in a blanket of dust.

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“The proposal is presented as an environmentally friendly solution because it is using waste gas, but the applicant fails to make it clear they are installing gas burners for each of the four kilns.”

Stuart Vendy, the agent for Heck Parish Council, said the application was “not sensitive to the countryside location”.

Coun McCartney added: “It will be a blot on the rural landscape.”

The applicant, Colin Hope, said: “This is a new and exciting development which will enable the building to create higher performing, thermally-efficient homes for the future.

“This is an opportunity for Selby to support new technology in the construction industry, reducing carbon emissions, reducing landfill and easing HGV movements while providing new, and safeguarding existing, jobs.”

Councillor John Mackman said he could see no reason to oppose the application, which was deferred for a site visit last month, adding that no traffic for the new plant would go through the village and that there would be an “absolute minimum of any dust”.

The plant would be a “dinky toy” compared to power stations in the wider area, he added.

All councillors voted in favour of the plan, apart from councillor John Packham, who raised concerns about its carbon footprint.