Residents living near a north-east recycling plant where a compost heap smouldered for months have slammed proposals to operate the site 24-hours a day.
Keenan Recycling wants to remove the current restrictions at its complex at Hillhead of Auchreddie near New Deer.
A giant pile of compost, which burned for eight months before being finally extinguished in April 2013, used to occupy the site prompting complaints from neighbours.
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Now local residents have voiced concerns about the new proposals raising fears that it could lead to increased traffic, noise, odour and light pollution caused by late-night operations.
Phil Helmsley lives near the plant and is worried that extending the opening hours will only make things worse.
In a letter objecting to the proposals, he said: “Removing the restrictions of the working hours of this plant and site will exasperate the problems that we already experience due to operations at the Keenan’s site.
“Keenan’s existing planning conditions already allow for long site operating hours, in the open air during weekdays and also at weekends.
“Our home is close to the Keenan’s site and is located in a particularly quiet and peaceful location. We already suffer loss of amenity due to the site and the plant being located next door.”
There are 14 objections in total, but officials have earmarked the application for approval.
Council infrastructure boss Stephen Archer said the Keenan Recycling proposals would “not give rise unacceptable levels of impact” on its neighbours.
A noise impact assessment said there will be no deliveries to the site after 6pm and deliveries from councils will not take place after 5pm.
Winter operations are currently restricted to 7am-7pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 12pm on Saturdays.
A document submitted alongside the Keenan Recycling proposals said extended working hours is required to “meet the recycling needs” of the area.
The company’s justification statement also said it would mean there would be less of a stench for those living nearby and provide a boost for staff.
It said: “It should also be noted that extending the working hours improves amenity in the surrounding areas as timely processing of organic waste reduces the potential for odours.
“Extending working hours also increases potential for further overtime for staff and will result in an increase in staff, further establishing Keenan Recycling as the key employer of the area.”
Members of the Buchan area committee will discuss the application when they meet in Peterhead on Tuesday.