By Rachael Griffiths
More groups are backing the campaign against a scrap yard set to move to a small community.
Southwark Metals, a family run company that recycles metals, currently have a site on Shakespeare Road, Herne Hill.
They are hoping to move the waste site to West Norwood, but locals there are having none of it.
Local resident and parent Melanie Defries, said: “What’s the point of extending the ULEZ area if at the same time Lambeth are going to give the green light to plans like these?
“Enough is enough, it’s time we saw real evidence of local authorities taking air pollution and the climate crisis seriously.”
Jemima Hartshorn, founder of Mums for Lungs said: “Air pollution from transport and construction has hugely damaging health impacts on everyone, but especially children.
“This development by Southwark Metals in Windsor Grove, West Norwood is planned for the back of a primary school and in close proximity to other schools, nurseries and residential homes.
“We sincerely hope these plans will not go ahead, but we also call on the Mayor of London and Government to ensure through legislation that children across the country are protected from irresponsible developers.”
Almost 2000 residents have objected the proposal and ScrapTheYard, a grass route community campaign group, is determined to have their voice heard.
Many took to the streets to protest last Thursday, including local MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, Helen Hayes, who has written to the council on behalf of residents to object.
She said narrow cul-de-sac Windsor Grove is a completely unacceptable location for a large metal recycling facility, which would bring 150 vehicle movements a day, including HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles).
She said: “I have written to Lambeth Council with all of the Labour ward councillors on behalf of local residents to object in the strongest possible terms. This application must be rejected.”
A spokesperson for Southwark Metals said: “Southwark Metals is a 40-year-old, family run business with an impeccable track record of operating metal recycling facilities in south London.
“Windsor Grove is an existing and safeguarded waste site which has operated for decades.
“It is in a Key Industrial Business Area, as identified in Lambeth Council’s Local Plan.
“The site has a permit to process 25,000 tonnes of waste per annum and temporarily closed in 2020 to undergo remediation works.
“The planning application seeks permission for the enclosure of the existing open-air site, to facilitate the running of a modern facility that exceeds all the environmental and safety standards outlined in the regulations for metal recycling businesses.
“We believe this represents the best approach for operating this existing safeguarded waste site moving forward.”
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