Wiltshire Publications

Issue 489 – Waste treatment plant goes ahead, but what about our recycling centre?

WESTBURY’S £20million MBT plant recently got the go-ahead after a contract was signed between Hills Waste Solutions and Wiltshire Council. But local councillors are anxious over a lack of action for the neighbouring Household Recycling Centre – which they fought for in the planning discussions.

As part of the multi-million pound MBT (mechanical biological treatment) development, Westbury is expecting to get its own household recycling centre, and councillors had pushed to accept the MBT so that Westbury could also get the facility.
While work to construct the MBT plant on the Northacre Trading Estate is scheduled to commence in August, a question mark hangs over the Household Recycling Centre. Last week a spokesperson for Wiltshire Council told the White Horse News that while the Household Recycling Centre is still anticipated, there is no timescale in place for realising the project and that it is unlikely to come before the MBT. The county council also say that, while planning permission was granted as part of the same time for both, it does not mean that they have to be realised at the same time.
Cllr Mike Hawkins, who was mayor of Westbury when planning permission for the plant was granted, said the idea of the two facilities together had been a central concept from the very beginning. “Before the proposal was officially made public I had a meeting with the town clerk which at the time was Les Fry and someone from County Hall – the county council – and they outlined that they wanted to build an MBT plant and Westbury seemed the ideal location.

“We said if it’s coming to Westbury, what’s in it for the people of Westbury? We’d been after a household recycling centre and we were assured that yes, it would be included and would come at the same time and same location. That is something we particularly asked for.

“Completely unacceptable”

“Having no timescale is completely unacceptable to me and this was not the impression we were given.”
Cllr David Jenkins has been persistently trying to get a clear answer from Wiltshire Council but without success. “At the moment I think there’s a bit of a question mark over it, which could be disappointing,” he said. “I’ve asked the council several times and said that it should be on record when we’re getting this amenities site and what is going to happen.
“Before, it was all with the legal people and they hadn’t signed the contract, but now I understand it’s all full steam ahead so we should have a clear statement with when and what is going to happen with the amenities centre.
“There are a lot of people in the centre of Westbury who need to have that facility.”


Councillor Russell Hawker, town councillor and Wiltshire Councillor, says that he has been told by the cabinet member for waste, property and development control services, Toby Sturgis, that the Household Recycling Centre has been shelved until a completion of a full review for all recycling facilities. He also understands that the total number of Household Recycling Units needed in the county is likely to be reduced.
He commented, “In the current very difficult financial climate, with deep funding cuts being imposed on Wiltshire Council by the government, it’s hardly surprising that the administration at Wiltshire Council is being somewhat less than committed and clear about the prospect of opening up a new Household Recycling Unit. Obviously, all Westbury councillors want any new facility to be opened, but it’s not realistic to expect the council to follow through with all its plans after the deep and continuing funding cuts that have been imposed since only April this year.
“I hope Westbury gets the new facility without a long delay, but if not, we will still have two other Household Recycling Units nearby in Warminster and Trowbridge.”