Holiday park bosses fear a controversial planning application to alter operations at a waste recycling plant will be delayed.
Bosses, caravan owners and residents near the Cala Gran holiday park say the decision could be set back until the summer, thanks to the General Election, if it is not brought before Lancashire County Council’s (LCC) Development Control Committee before March.
The application by Lancashire Waste Recycling to change the hours it can operate in and other conditions was due to be looked at next Wednesday, but has been removed from the next committee meeting.
Because of a halt in proceedings while the General Election is fought, unless it is put on the February 28 meeting agenda, it will be delayed until summer.
People near the Burn Hall Industrial Estate area in Thornton, who have opposed the application, fear it will increase noise, extra traffic, smells and flies in the area.
Bosses at the Cala Gran say they have put off a £1m investment in the park until a decision is resolved.
Jayne Mushet, general manager of Cala Gran, whichemploys 320 at peak season, said: “We are bitterly disappointed at this further delay in processing the three applications to change working practices at the Lancashire Waste Recycling plant.
“They were originally scheduled to go before Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee in December, then January.
“All our caravan owners, holidaymakers and our team at the park are frustrated by this second postponement.
“They now face the holiday season not knowing what’s happening, the continuing odour and noise emanating from the recycling plant.
“Investment at the park is frozen until this situation is resolved. It is an extremely worrying time for everyone associated with Cala Gran.”
Paul Mellor, managing director of Lancashire Waste Recycling, said: “We are disappointed the planning hearing has been put back.
“We are keen for the application to be heard as soon as possible.
“We have committed to signing up to Lancashire County Council’s independent assessor scheme, known locally as ‘the nose’, which is already in place for the neighbouring site Global Renewables. This will allow anyone locally to ascertain where any reported odours are coming from, and what is required to address them.
“As discussed with residents at the meeting last week, chaired by county councillor Andrea Kay, and attended by Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, we are committed to being a good neighbour.
“We have invested heavily in noise and odour abatement equipment on-site, as part of a total £8m investment into the plant. We are a new business, we inject £3m a year into the local economy, and provide employment for 30 people locally, on what was previously a derelict part of the industrial estate.”
Mr Mellor said the business reprocesses non-recyclable plastics and textiles into a fuel used to replace the burning of coal in cement kilns.
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council,said: “We’re awaiting responses from statutory consultees, which are needed to be able to put all the information before the Development Control Committee for the application to be determined. We’ll take it to a scheduled meeting of the committee at the earliest opportunity.”