Protests over Wolverhampton canalside recycling plant plans
A new canalside recycling plant is set to be built in Wolverhampton creating up to 10 jobs – but the plans are facing opposition from The Canal & River Trust.
The trust claims the development will ruin what is a Lock Conservation Area on land off Cross Street North and wants the plans refused when it goes before the city council next Tuesday.
Ballast Phoenix Limited’s proposed site is near the council’s main incinerator but also sits next to listed canal locks.
The plant would recycle up to 200,000 tons of incinerator bottom ash per year – waste produced by incinerating rubbish such as metals, brick, glass, rubble, concrete and ceramics – to create aggregate used in construction. The site would also feature offices.
But The Canal & River Trust has objected because of the negative impact the facility would have on the Lock Conservation Area and listed locks.
The development, if it went ahead, would be based on locks six and seven on The Wolverhampton Locks Trail.
A spokesman for the trust said: "The proposals would have a negative impact on the character, setting and visual appearance of the Lock Conservation Area and Listed Locks.
"We are also concerned about the impact on the stability of the bank and wall adjacent to the canal, as well as noise and air quality impacts, which would result in adverse impacts to the canal and its users."
But officers from the council said it would help reduce the need for waste to be sent to landfill and the Environment Agency has raised no objections to the proposal.
It also said the plant is far enough from residents and the canal to mitigate negative impacts.
Permission was granted in 2017 for a similar plant, which would have recycled 150,000 tons per year had it been built.
Senior planning officer Phillip Walker said: “The proposed development makes use of a previously developed site.
“It would locate a waste recycling facility alongside an existing council incinerator, processing and recycling waste close to the source and minimising the use of landfill.
“The less than substantial harm to the conservation area and the listed locks are outweighed by the public benefits of the facility.”