Samuel Smith's Old Brewery joins battle against plan for waste centre at former coal mine

Yorkshire's oldest brewery has lined up alongside five parish councils and more than 150 residents to battle a plan to create a waste centre for 75,000 tonnes of construction and demolition materials a year at a former coal mine site.

Samuel Smith's Brewery

North Yorkshire County Council, which postponed considering the scheme by UK Coal’s successor firm Harworth Estates near Stillingfleet last month, has been urged by Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery to reject the proposal when it goes back before the authority’s planning committee next week.

The brewery, which has operated since 1758, said the waste centre proposal is “inherently unsustainable”, due its isolated rural location and poor transport provision in the area.

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A planning agent for the brewery said: “In addition, the proposed plans demonstrates the potential for the development to adversely affect European Protected Species.”

The brewery’s appeal is among 161 objections to the proposal in view of the likely impact on local amenity caused by noise and dust, traffic movements, impact on the natural environment and conflict with local planning policy.

However, Harworth Estates has said the development would provide a sustainable facility for waste recycling that would be of use to the residential, industrial and commercial communities in York and Selby together with the wider area.

It has said the scheme would fill a gap in the market in the area as plasterboard waste had to be sent from North Yorkshire to Nottinghamshire for processing to reclaim the gypsum.

An agent for the firm said: “The proposed site is located within a disused former industrial area that is appropriate for this type of development.”

However, the claim by Harworth Estates that the site should be considered a former industrial area has outraged objectors, as UK Coal agreed to restore the site to agriculture 12 months after the mine closed as part of its planning permission from North Yorkshire County Council.

"Some 12 years later the authority 2016 decided it would not be in the public interest to force its successor firm to do so as part of the mine had been cleared.

Ahead of the meeting, which is expected to be the authority’s most attended meeting since it started streaming them online last year, planning officers have recommended Harworth Estates’ plan be approbed.

Despite a litany of concerns being raised over the proposal, planning officers said the proposed development would not have a significant impact upon the local environment and would result in no significant adverse impacts which could not be mitigated.

They added the proposed development would not have a significant impact upon the character of the surrounding area, on residents’ quality of life and roads near the site.

While residents have raised road safety concerns, planning officers said the scheme should be granted provided the firm agreed to ensure HGVs travelling to and from the site to follow an agreed travel route from the site to the A19 and set up a meeting where the community could raise concerns.