Redevelopment of Biggleswade tip could put more strain on Letchworth recycling centre

Queues for the Blackhorse Road tip in Letchworth could become even worse with the redevelop of the B

Queues for the Blackhorse Road tip in Letchworth could become even worse with the redevelop of the Biggleswade site. Picture: Deborah Roberts - Credit: Archant

The pressure on a Letchworth tip could increase over the summer months with plans to temporarily close a recycling centre in nearby Biggleswade.

Central Bedfordshire Council revealed this month its plans to redevelop household waste recycling centres across the district, starting with the Biggleswade Bells Brook site.

Although a date is yet to be confirmed, work will start on the site in the summer, and it will be closed until next year – news that could send shivers down the spines of drivers who have spent hours queuing for the Blackhorse Road tip in Letchworth in recent months, as well as nearby businesses which have struggled because of the traffic issues.

The word from Central Beds is that people should use the centres at Ampthill, Dunstable or even Leighton Buzzard, but some are concerned that many will turn to Letchworth instead.

Adrian Therkildsen, who lives in Stotfold, said: “My major concerns are the pressure on the Letchworth recycling centre which is already over capacity, and the real likelihood of flytipping.”

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Herts County Council, which manages the site, decided to alter the opening hours of tips in the area from the start of the year, meaning the Letchworth facility is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the Stevenage site is shut on Thursdays and Fridays.

A County Hall spokesman said: “We were recently made aware that Central Bedfordshire Council may be intending to undertake improvement works at their Biggleswade Household Waste Recycling Centre that could impact on the site’s operations.

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“We are currently talking to Central Beds so we can better understand what their plans are and what impacts any works might have for sites in Herts nearest to the Biggleswade site.”

Councillor Richard Thake, who is the county council’s cabinet member for waste management, said: “I recently visited the Letchworth household waste recycling centre as I know this site in particular has been very busy over the past few months.

“I wanted to understand how much waste we are dealing with at this site. I also was keen to see how Amey, which manages our sites, operates and deals with the ongoing stream of residents who make use of this service.

“We will continue to work closely with Amey to ensure the site is run as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

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