Recycling firm in fresh bid to keep using land which was open countryside as a storage area

Shedfield image

A recycling firm in Hampshire has amended plans to keep using land which was open countryside as a storage area.

Lockhams Recycling Ltd has submitted a fresh retrospective planning application after the county council’s decision to refuse a previous bid to regularise the storage of recycled materials at Shedfield Equestrian Centre.

Lockhams Recycling Ltd in Shedfield, between Fareham and Bishop’s Waltham, saw its retrospective planning permission to convert the site from open countryside to an open storage area for recycled aggregate materials and to keep an ancillary office and workshop refused by Hampshire County Council in January 2023.

The application’s purpose was to provide more storage space for materials, allowing for more efficient processing of imported soils, crushed concrete, and other aggregates from the construction industry.

The Shedfield Equestrian Centre site has several buildings, hardstanding areas, access roads, and equestrian facilities, such as fields.

The site is adjacent to and near various other establishments, including a vehicle repair and MOT test centre, a dog training facility, a marine sales company, and a ground-mounted solar farm.

The company has permission to recycle inert materials and builders’ waste on the land west of the application site.

In 2015, a successful appeal meant the firm could process 46,000m³ of imported materials annually, equivalent to 69,000 metric tonnes.

According to Lockhams Recycling Ltd, the site has been operational as an “unauthorised development storing processed recycled materials” and for an office and a workshop without any planning approvals since November 2020.

The county council refused the retrospective application due to a “lack of justification for a countryside location”, “unacceptable visual impact”, and “lack of information to demonstrate that the site can be drained safely and would not create flood risk elsewhere”.

Now, three months later, the recycling company has presented a planning application to revise the council’s decision.

The planning statement, prepared by Pro Vision on behalf of Lockhams Recycling Ltd, said that the new application “demonstrates” and addresses the previous reasons for refusal and is in line with national and local policies.

One of the refusal reasons was the “lack of justification for a countryside location.” 

However, Pro Vision said that Hampshire waste management policy (HWMP) policy 29 recognises that “waste development may exist on greenfield land which are in well-screened locations away from residential areas and which require a countryside or a more isolated location”.

Therefore, “inert waste processing facilities can be appropriately located in rural areas away from housing”.

The proposed storage is two kilometres from the nearest sites of special scientific interest (SSSI), three kilometres from the Solent and Southampton Water, and 150 metres from the nearest sites of importance in nature conservation (SINC).

To handle flooding concerns, the company prepared a drainage strategy developed by Aquacallidus, defining the site as at “very low risk” from river or sea flooding. 

The application site is at high risk of surface water flooding associated with a culverted watercourse. Hence, groundwater flooding is identified as unlikely.

By addressing the county council’s concerns and giving more explanation to others, the company insists that the proposal is “acceptable” and in an “appropriate location”, and therefore, they request the council that the retrospective planning application get granted “without delay”.

The public consultation will end on May 11th. To submit your comments, visit the Hampshire County Council website with the HCC/2024/0180 reference number.