ACTIVISTS intent on blocking a waste recycling centre’s expansion held a silent protest.

Members from Brightlingsea Residents’ Action Group (Brag) demonstrated their defiance against Eastern Waste Disposal’s future plans,which they say will pollute the area with silica dust.

Essex County Council has already approved the site but the action group hopes to deter the council from letting EWD expand next to the Co-op supermarket car park in Samson’s Road.

The site is also only 85 metres from the Colne Community School and College.

Ian Samways, Brag chairman, said: “We won’t rest and will go right the way to the top, even if we have to take Theresa May out to dinner.
“Government guidelines set out various criteria which must be met. 

“One is a crushing plant must be sited in the open air and another is, it should be adjacent to a trunk road, which obviously hasn’t been met with regards to the one road in and out of Brightlingsea. 

“But what’s also concerning is silica, which the Heath and Safety Executive recommends shouldn’t be within a given distance so again, this has been totally overlooked or ignored.

“We’re told this has been written in stone and nothing can be done about it, but we feel we can.”

A car photographed inside a garage sends a clear message

Surprise protests will be held to make EWD bosses feel “uncomfortable” and the group has even approached BBC’s Panorama asking it to investigate further.

In a consultation document, the East of England Co-operative Society states rural Brightlingsea “should not be considered as the most sustainable location for a waste site allocation”.

It adds Essex County Council has failed to properly consider criteria in its own Waste Local Plan and the resulting pollution will detrimentally impact the viability of Fiveways supermarket.


An anonymous woman arrives wearing a gas mask

An Essex County Council spokesperson explained the site would not accept household waste and would not be owned, or operated by the local authority.

A council spokesman said: “The site has been identified as suitable for inert waste processing in the Waste Local Plan.

“However, in order for a plant to be built there, a private company would have to obtain planning permission and an environmental permit from the Environment Agency. No application has yet been made.”

The Gazette contacted EDW for comment but it did not respond at the time of going to press.

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