SITA's presentation to Dyrham and Hinton Parish Council on Thursday and the one made by the Parish Council in response provoked a lively and interesting debate. Points made by SITA and Agrivert representatives in response to questions included:
- Both VOSA and the Highways Agency are expected to continue to use their parts of the site, there is no intention to take over areas outside the training agency land.
- They are still working on the detailed traffic assessment. As the vehicles are arriving outside peak times, they don’t expect the impact on the motorway junction to be a problem. They provided revised vehicle movement figures to take account of weekly collections, but Claire Young has written to SITA since the meeting requesting further clarification.
- The facility would revert to SGC-ownership in 2025.
- The capacity required was modelled and provided by South Gloucestershire Council. SITA currently collect 20 000 tonnes of green waste from the kerb-side, 3000tonnes from civic amenity sites that could continue to go to open windrow as it wouldn’t include food waste and expect to collect 5000 tonnes of kitchen waste.
- They denied that they had been unable to use a site in Avonmouth because Tesco didn’t want it next to their warehouse because of fears of contamination.
- Agrivert will have to repay SITA if there are problems with the site in the first two years.
- They conceded it wasn’t ideally located, being on the edge of South Gloucestershire and not near the centres of population, but it has the advantage of being near agricultural land. However they anticipate the end product going on arable land, not grazing land.
- Both SITA and Agrivert insisted this wasn’t a cheapskate option.
- They would not exceed the licensed capacity, aside from that not being allowed it would cause odour problems and result in a poor end product. They mention 30 000 tonnes in the title of the application as that cannot be varied in the way that conditions can, so any increase would have to be through a new planning application.
- The site would be sealed with fences to stop vermin getting in and nets between buildings to keep out birds. It is interesting to note that you cannot graze animals on fields on which the compost has been spread for 8 weeks.
- To pass Animal Byproducts regulations, 27 random tests are carried out and if a single one fails the product has to be landfilled. Agrivert has never had a plant shut in 26 sites across Europe in 14 years.
Claire Young pointed out, as she did at the Westerleigh presentation for the previous application, that it was wrong to say that all of South Gloucestershire outside towns and villages is green belt. She also asked SITA to clarify why they had ruled out the Hallan site that New Earth Solutions are considering. Gareth Phillips of SITA said he had visited the site personally and thinks that both it and a nearby site are unsuitable because there is a problem with access for the "bulkers" that take the compost away.