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Carpenders Park residents fight to halt waste centre
Carpenders Park residents are fighting to prevent an industrial waste recycling centre located next to an elderly people’s care home from securing retrospective planning permission.
Residents say the industrial storage area in Oxhey Lane began operating as a waste recycling centre last summer without permission despite sharing a boundary with the Auburn Mere care home.
An application for approval of the use of land behind Mayfair Bungalow for the handling of 5,000 tonnes of demolition and industrial waste every year - roughly 20 tonnes a day - is now being considered by Hertfordshire County Council.
But nearby residents say they are already suffering disruption as a result of works at the recycling centre due to black smoke from fires on the site and an increase in lorries travelling along the busy road.
Tom Harkness, a director at the Bucks Meadow Riding School, has been teaching pupils to ride in fields backing onto the site for 20 years.
He said: "We have complained to the council and the Department for the Environment but I don’t think people are listening.
"The bonfires lit on the site have been awful, the smoke blowing across is choking and whenever they are burning stuff you can really smell it.
"You have a rest home for older people on one side and a riding school on the other, if they are allowed to keep it that is going to be a disaster.
"The documents say it is an industrial area but it is quite clearly a residential area so I would say it is in violation of planning regulations.
"You cannot take ponies or horses out riding if they have to contend with devastating smoke and the noise of JCBs."
Mr Harkness added that a number of nearby residents had submitted their objections to the county council.
It is not clear whether the care home, which houses 34 older residents and claims on its website to be "committed to providing a safe, happy and comfortable home, promoting a high standard of care and understanding of each person’s individual needs", is among the objectors and requests from this newspaper for comment went unanswered.
The applicant Envirotech Consultants Ltd has relocated to the site following the cessation of a licence for a premises in a neighbouring authority.
Application documents show the recycling centre would create six full-time and two part-time roles, would only operate during standard industrial hours and would only accept non-hazardous waste.
Envirotech did not respond to requests for comment.
The application is expected to be decided by county councillors in April.