Council to monitor dust nuisance

PUBLISHED: 12:46 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

ANGRY residents who attended a public meeting to voice their concerns about a local scrap yard have been told that the company could operate for 24 hours a day if it so wished. Over 50 residents attended the meeting on Tuesday evening at St Michael s Comm

ANGRY residents who attended a public meeting to voice their concerns about a local scrap yard have been told that the company could operate for 24 hours a day if it so wished.

Over 50 residents attended the meeting on Tuesday evening at St Michael's Community Centre on St Michael's Road, Hitchin.

Many registered their anger about the dust and noise which emanates from the yard, which is currently being used by Cemex and H Williams and Sons, and from vehicles picking up or dropping off scrap.

However, they were informed by Bob Monk, monitoring and enforcement manager for Hertfordshire County Council, that in planning terms there were no conditions which could be used to control either the hours of operation or the movement of vehicles to and from the yard.

He also added that the weight restriction on St Michael's Road did not apply in this case.

He said: "There is a five tonnes restriction, but only if you are going from Birmingham to London, for example. If you are dropping things off from one road to another in Hitchin it does not apply."

One angry resident told The Comet: "They already have trains coming into the yard with their engines running all night. Imagine if they start allowing vehicles to travel all night and day, it'll be hell for everyone."

One thing which pleased residents was that dust samples will be examined to see if they are harmful.

North Hertfordshire District Council's environment protection manager Victor Quashie said: "We are looking for volunteers to take samples of dust from their residences which we can look at.

"The council will look to keep monitoring the situation over the next few weeks.

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