Hove tip has been given permission to admit lorries from 7am – an hour earlier than at present – to beat the traffic on up to three days a week.
The proposal by Veolia, which operates the rubbish and recycling centre on behalf of Brighton and Hove City Council, was approved by the council’s Planning Committee today (Wednesday 10 March).
But the committee placed a two-year time limit on the move which was repeatedly blamed on the temporary Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes.
Veolia was also given retrospective permission for some layout changes to make it easier for people to comply with coronavirus-related restrictions.
Several councillors blamed the problems at the tip on the cycle lanes which replaced a lane on each side of Old Shoreham Road in May last year.
Planning manager Jane Moseley said: “It has been tied up with the cycle lane but this came forward because of covid.”
She said that previously the tip had to close to the public when big waste lorries were there and this cause queues back to Old Shoreham Road.
And the layout changes had been in place for six months – as a covid-related measure – without any complaints from neighbours.
But a report to the Planning Committee on the application to vary the existing planning conditions governing the site said that the proposals had attracted 20 letters of objection. Neighbours said that they were worried about more noise, smells and vermin.
Independent councillor Tony Janio said: “This is all about the cycle lane. This is the most idiotic thing, in my humble opinion, that the council has done for a long time.
“I do not want to see residents disadvantaged any further because of the cycle lane.”
Conservative councillor Joe Miller said: “It seems the council wants to open the tip earlier because of the cycle lane it introduced, which cause traffic jams, which in turn is causing an impact on the waste tip, which has caused the council to apply to itself for the tip to open early so it can skip its own traffic jams to the detriment of people living nearby.
“This also creates a dangerous precedent that any business could argue that it should open earlier to beat traffic jams.”
Green councillor Sue Shanks said that the earlier hours had nothing to do with the cycle lane as she been along there and had not seen any problems.
She said: “It’s great it’s not having to shut during the day to allow commercial vehicles in.
“I would like it to be open later because it closes at 4.30pm which makes it more difficult for people working.”
Labour councillor Chris Henry said that it was “chaos” and the need to open earlier was “absolutely about the cycle lane”.
Councillor Henry said: “I live and travel in this area and it is chaos. We need to have a temporary restriction because of the temporary cycle lane.
“We need to have this temporarily for the time the cycle lane exists.”
But the committee was told that this might not be possible so Labour councillor Daniel Yates proposed a two-year limit on the early opening which was supported by seven votes to three.
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.