A RECYCLING plant was refused planning permission this week – despite the applicant claiming he had been operating the site since 1994.
The site at Crooked Mead, off the A27 Chichester bypass, was found to be in breach of planning rules relating to waste transfer, processing and disposal in February, 2012.
At a meeting of West Sussex County Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, members voted in favour of starting ‘appropriate, formal enforcement action’.
The county council said in its report: “There is a need to prevent an ongoing breach of planning control and to return the site to agriculture.”
Site owner Jimmy Sullivan, 53, of Hunston Road, who runs Sullivan’s Scrap metals, said the county council had been aware of the running of the site since the early 1990s.
“I’m well known in the area,” he said.
“Things have moved on a bit now from when I first started in this yard.
“I’m 53 and I’ve been a scrap man all my life.”
He questioned why the county council had not spoken to him previously about the site.
He said the council invited him to put in a planning application.
Suggested changes to the site included a waste transfer and recycling station, with skip hire depot, soil screening, collection and sorting of scrap metals, and returning the south part of the site to a wildflower meadow.
However, councillors unanimously refused the application, with one abstention.
Cllr Simon Oakley said: “The main issues for me are highways safety and the impact on the landscape.
“I would have considerable concerns over the departure from design standards that this access would represent.
“An initial one would be the ability of vehicles to actually exit the site because of the layby that the exit lane would share effectively.”
The Highways Agency has put a holding decision on the application while discussing the entrance with Mr Sullivan.
However, Mr Sullivan said he would appeal the decision by the planning committee.
“The county council’s made a big mistake here that’s going to cost them a lot of money,” he said. “We’re too far into it.”