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Sheehan Haulage and Plant Hire win planning appeal to increase recycling production

Sheehan Haulage and Plant Hire has appealed for local authority officials to urgently overhaul its policies relating to climate change in response to Sir David Attenborough’s stark call for radical action.

The call for action came after Sheehan Haulage and Plant Hire was granted permission to increase production at its advanced waste washing plant, on a planning appeal. The recycling plant has saved 500,000 tonnes of waste from UK landfill sites since it was installed in 2012. An application was made to increase a cap placed on the plant from 100,000 tonnes to 175,000 tonnes of waste per year, but it was originally turned down.

The water treatment facility washes construction and demolition waste destined for landfill and turns it back into reusable aggregate. The process reduces demand on the environment for natural resources, by re-creating high quality secondary aggregate and sand from waste.

The planning appeal decision came soon after naturalist Sir David Attenborough told United Nations sponsored climate talks climate change is “humanity’s greatest threat”. Sir David urged “decision makers to act now” to create a “low carbon economy”.

Sheehan Haulage and Plant Hire Managing Director Chris Sheehan said: “Common sense has prevailed, but it shouldn’t take a long and very costly appeal to be granted permission to help improve recycling levels and create jobs in sustainable construction.

“It is a strong case study in light of Sir David’s appeal for urgent change in approach to policy. Businesses that are investing in sustainability need to be supported by policy and decision makers nationally and locally to help improve sustainability and the low carbon economy.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s Planning and Regulation Committee originally turned down the application due to concerns over an increase in HGV use of roads in Sutton, Oxford, near the site in Stanton Harcourt. However, Sheehan Haulage and Plant Hire vehicles undertake a detour during peak hours to avoid impacting Sutton, which is on a designated lorry route.

In a further sustainability pledge the company is installing a biomass boiler to produce renewable electricity at its recycling plant and will invest in electric vehicles when they are commercially available.

Finance Director Tara Sheehan added: “We are proud of our recycling and sustainable construction record and are committed to taking it to the next level. This is a great day for the Circular Driven Economy and Sustainable Construction industry and we now look forward to helping improve recycling rates in Oxfordshire.

“Going to appeal was a last resort and cost the business a lot of money. We now hope this can help lead to a change in approach from decision makers in the future towards green businesses. For the world to survive climate change we need an immediate and radical change in approach and that includes improving planning policy for sustainability works.”