TOWN Hall chiefs at Warrington are recommending that the long-established Stockton Heath community recycling site be closed.
The recommendation will be put to the borough council’s executive board on Monday next week – flying in the face of the wishes of residents in the south of the borough.
It is suggested that the closure take place after improvement works have been completed at the borough’s other two recycling sites – Woolston and Gatewarth. Work has already been completed at Woolston and is expected to be completed at Gatewarth by the end of February.
A major consultation has taken place prior to the recommendation being made, with 1,036 people taking part – with nearly 96 per cent them claiming to use the Stockton Heath site.
More than 3,000 signed a petition calling for the site to be kept open.
Council chiefs say the cost of disposing of waste at Stockton Heath is £88.62 per tonne, compared with £42.90 atGatewarth and £37.01 at Woolston. But more than 85 per cent of people who took part in the consultation still believed the cost at Stockton Heath represented value for money.
Asked what concerns they would have if the Stockton Heath tip closed, 88.55 per cent cited the distance of travel to an alternative site, 85.11 per cent were worried about increased fly-tipping, 70.23 per cent were concerned and the reduction in the number of recycling facilities and 52.77 were concerned at the reduction capacity for disposing of extra waste at Christmas.
The executive board will be told that Stockton Heath Parish Council has asked that the site be kept open until an alternative one can be found.
They will also be told that the cost of operating the three sites in 2017-18 was £1,149,110 – and overspend of £294,258.
The executive will also be recommended to allocate a suitable site in the south of the borough for a new recycling site as part of the Local Plan process
Work on improving the Woolston site has already been completed and work at Gatewarth started in October.
It is expected that work at Gatewarth will be completed late in February when the site will be able to re-open fully. It remains open while the work goes on in phases.