Waste plant neighbours to be consulted ahead of planning bid

Residents living close to landfill operations at Easter Langlee are to be consulted over plans to build a £5.5million waste transfer station on the site.

A “public event”, at a time and place still to be arranged, will be held in September before Scottish Borders Council submits a detailed planning bid for the 2,000m2 facility from which 40,000 tonnes of household rubbish will eventually be transported annually out of the region for treatment.

Meanwhile, a so-called proposal of application notice (PAN) regarding the new plant has been distributed for discussion to the community councils of Galashiels and Melrose and the Coopersknowe and Easter Langlee Residents Association.

It follows last year’s decision by the council to cease dumping at the site next year and to phase in the waste transfer station by 2021 when the Scottish Government imposes a band on all untreated biodegradable waste going to landfill.

Councillors heard it would cost £5.5m to develop the station over that period and, once operational, £5.1m a year to run.

The transfer option became inevitable when plans for a heat-generating waste treatment plant at Easter Langlee were abandoned in February last year, at a write-off cost to the council of £2.4m.

The PAN paperwork reveals that the waste transfer building – measuring 57m x 34m (1,995m2) – will be designed so it can be adapted in the future to deal with all the waste generated in the Borders.

Around 6,800m2 of roads and hardstanding will also be created on the former landfill site to service the operations.

The facility is described in the PAN as a “medium-term solution to deal with central Borders waste until the council completes the review of the current Waste Management Strategy … to meet current and future legislative targets and aspirations”.

Next month’s public event, which will be advertised in The Southern Reporter and on the SBC website at least seven days in advance, will not preclude members of the public making representations once the detailed planning application is submitted later this year.