Bio waste application – public meeting requested as anger grows

The proposal to put half a million tonnes of bio-waste on a Harewood farm is sparking widespread protests. Leeds ward councillors have had a letter delivered to every home in the village, public objections are rising, Gateways School has objected and articles are now appearing in local newspapers.

A facebook site has been launched http://www.facebook.com/pages/Harewood-East-Keswick-villagers-against-industrial-farm-waste/133571780102125

There are now requests for a public meeting to be held, probably at East Keswick Village Hall as the strength of feeling may mean Harewood’s village hall might not be large enough.

The concern all revolves around a planning application for a Composting facility at New Laithe Farm on Harewood Road.

The application – currently before Leeds City Council – would see the site being operational seven days a week. Up to 50,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste a year would be processed. Objectors fear increased traffic movements, smell and risk of seepage.

The site actually lies in Harewood parish but close to the border with East Keswick. The applicant – Mr Thackray – is seeking permission for the site to be operational from 6am to 9pm weekdays and 9am to 6pm at weekends. Composting would be carried out from 6am to 6pm weekdays and 9am to 1pm Saturdays. Some fear up to eight large trucks a day would bring waste to the site and that if the wind is ina westerly direction that the village would be affected by the smell. It is claimed that seepage might contaminate the beck.

Details of the plan – application 12/00435 can be viewed at, and comments raised at  www.leeds.gov.uk/publicaccess . Comments on the application can be made by email to planning@leeds.gov.uk quoting the above reference number.

East Keswick Parish Council is to discuss the situation at its next scheduled meeting on Tuesday.