Noise concerns about bailing plastics at Billingshurst farm
Horsham District Council has called for a noise assessment to be carried out before it will allow the bailing and storage of plastics to continue at a farm in Billingshurst.
At a meeting of the planning committee on Tuesday (March 16), members deferred the retrospective application for Copped Hall Farm, in Okehurst Lane.
A compliance team was called to the farm in March 2020 after complaints were received about waste being imported and bailed without planning permission.
While a report to the committee said no further breaches had taken place, some councillors felt the potential noise problem needed to be looked into before any permission was given for the work to continue.
Once bailed, the agricultural plastics -collected from other farming, equestrian and horticultural businesses – would be sent elsewhere for recycling.
Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater North) said she supported the principle of this type of recycling, but added: “The fact that it’s caused a nuisance in the past makes me somewhat nervous that the amenity of the residents locally will be impacted.”
It was a view shared by Tim Lloyd (Con, Steyning and Ashurst) who described the impact of the operation when it was running as ‘pretty negative’ and having ‘pretty serious noise effects’ on neighbouring homes.
While planning officers also supported the idea of recycling in this way, they simply did not think Copped Hall Farm was the right place to do it.
They recommended the application for refusal due to its location and scale and the potential impact of noise and traffic.
The committee voted by 18 votes to 0 to defer the application so that a noise assessment can take place. One councillor lost contact with the webcast’s audio stream so had to abstain from voting.
As the bailing work at Copped Hall Farm has been closed down, the assessment will be carried out based on noise levels from similar sites elsewhere.