Joy for campaigners as plans for controversial asphalt plant near Peterborough primary school are dropped

Plans for a asphalt plant near a Peterborough primary school have been dropped, to the joy of campaigners.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 12:06 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 4:48 pm
Ansar Ali (centre) handing over the petition against the asphalt plant

The 23m high plant would have been situated at unused rail sidings in Maskew Avenue in between the rail line and Bourges Boulevard, a short distance from one of two Gladstone Primary Academy sites and Gladstone Park Community Centre.

The Thomas Deacon Education Trust, which runs the academy, was an objector to the plans.

The application had been submitted by Tarmac, which said planning consent would lead to the creation of at least 10 jobs, with the plant, if built, providing materials for construction projects in parts of the county.

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Campaigners, though, were worried about a rise in pollution, with nearly 400 signing a petition against the plans, although Tarmac insisted it had undertaken “substantial studies” including air quality and noise assessments to ensure “minimal impact on the area”.

However, the company announced yesterday it has now withdrawn its application to Peterborough City Council.

A spokeswoman said: “Following the submission of our plans we have continued to undertake a number of studies for the site. After a further review of viability for the scheme, results of technical studies and discussions with stakeholders, Tarmac has decided not to continue with our application.

“We have no plans to look at further uses for the site at this time or to introduce a similar scheme in a nearby location.

“We remain committed to open engagement with the local community and will keep local residents updated should there be any relevant information relating to the site going forward.”

Campaigner Ansar Ali, a Labour city councillor, welcomed the announcement. He said: “I am absolutely delighted with this victory for the local community, I was privileged to have led the campaign against this proposal.

“Common sense has prevailed - this site was never appropriate for this development. I would like to thank the local community for the support.”

Conservative city councillor Shazia Bashir, who has been campaigning on the issue with women in the community and the school, said: “I would like to thank the headteacher of Gladstone Primary for taking the lead and bringing the community together.”