Councillors who have vowed to fight controversial expansion plans by a waste recycling plant also want its current activities put under greater scrutiny.
Fleetwood Town Council members say the Environment Agency needs to put more pressure on Lancashire Waste Recycling at Burn Hall, Thornton, because there are already problems with smells, noise and industrial litter even before any expansion takes place.
Their comments came after a meeting between the councillors and angry residents and represents of the Cala Gran Holiday Park in Fleetwood.
The meeting was called just a day after the Cala Gran revealed it was threatening to pull a future £1m investment in the Fleetwood site because of the expansion plans.
Lancashire Waste has applied to Lancashire County Council to increase the waste company’s hours by two hours each day, Monday to Friday, and also operate on Sundays for a seven day week schedule.
The firm, which converts landfill waste into fuel which can be used to power manufacturing plants, also wants to be able to keep the plant doors open to allow trucks in and out more easily.
Councillors Bill Barrow and John Warnock are taking up the issue after residents at nearby Springfield Terrace and the Cala Gran, both in Fleetwood, approached them for help.
After the meeting at the Cala Gran, Coun Barrow said: “The Environment Agency was asked for its views on these expansion plans and it has raised concerns about what is actually happening there now, in a damning report.
“If that is the case, the Agency needs to be as stringent with this recycling operation as it is with the United Utilities sewage plant further along the road.
“There are very few problems now at the sewage plant because the Agency is scrutinising the operation regularly.
“The operators appear to be already in breach of planning conditions, so why aren’t they being enforced?”
Coun John Warnock added: “The EA has powers, so they must be used. If there are problems now, expanding hours and opening doors will only make it worse.
“We will also ask for the planning applications at the County Council to be called in so they can be dealt by a committee rather than be dealt with by planning officers under delegated powers.”
A Cala Gran spokesman said after the meeting: “We have had to live with this problem for two years.
“It is time for the appropriate authorities to impose the regulations in a proper manner.
“In addition, the residents, businesses community and ourselves are united in our opposition to the new application by this waste plant.”
And resident Jill Bradshaw, 65, of Springfield Terrace, Fleetwood, said: “If they can’t stop all these problems the plant needs to close down.”
In a statement to the county council Dave Hortin from the Environment Agency said some efforts by the recycling firm had been made to combat noise and smells on the site.
But he said: “We have some concerns in regard to this planning application.
“In terms of noise we still believe that the noise from the site is likely to cause unacceptable pollution outside of the site boundary.
“We have not approved the current noise management plan and this is currently under review. we do not agree that the noise coming offsite is at an acceptable level.
“In terms of odour, greater investment has been made and we are currently reviewing information to confirm the site’s abatement measures are effective.”
No one from Lancashire Waste Recycling was available for comment.