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Villagers to protest homes near Sutton Courtenay landfill site at Vale …

VILLAGERS are set to kick up a stink about plans to build hundreds of homes next to a dumping ground.

Councillors are set to make a huge decision on Sutton Courtenay’s future tonight and decide on Redrow Homes’ plan to build 200 homes, just metres away from a landfill and composting site.

Residents fear Vale of White Horse District Council ‘dug itself a hole’ by outlining the development in its local plan last year.

Some of the 139 residents who objected to the development are set to protest at a planning meeting in Wantage tonight, including Sutton Courtenay resident Robin Draper.

Brigadier Draper said: “Noxious odours from the adjacent composting site frequently blanket areas of the village.

“The proposed houses would be much closer to the composting site than current housing so will face more severe effects.

“The local community has highlighted the risks of being next to uncapped and unlined landfill cells with toxic contents.”

He feared the council would push the project through ‘without due regard to its duty of care’ for future residents, adding: “Having dug itself a hole by designating the strategic site, it faces the risk of an expensive appeal by a major developer which it has encouraged. To refuse it now would involve a major climbdown.”

Council officers have recommended the application for approval despite echoing concerns about odours and potential contamination.

A health and housing officer commented on the application last week: “Environment Agency records highlight that the landfill sites accepted inert, commercial, industrial, household and liquid sludge waste.”

The response noted that as well as being ‘approximately 25 metres’ from FCC Environment’s landfill site it was within 90 metres of two redundant landfill sites.

The officer questioned efficiency of gas control at the sites, noting ‘potential presence of landfill gas bubbling in the drainage ditch’ to the west of the site.

Sutton Courtenay Parish Council members are due to talk at the council meeting at the Beacon tonight.

Parish council chairman Michael Jenkins voiced concerns about unsafe access to the proposed homes and the land’s liability to flooding.

He said: “The site seems to have been plucked out of the blue. If you look at the rigour of the [council’s] initial investigation it seems negligible.”

He urged councillors to at least defer the application pending further investigation.

The district council insisted the site’s inclusion in the local plan followed ‘comprehensive selection process’ including public consultation, noting that the plan was assessed by an independent examiner who deemed it to be ‘soundly based.’

A spokesperson added: “The planning committee will consider the application on the basis of information supplied by the applicant, statutory consultees and objectors.”

Redrow has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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