Padanaram mix-up a bone of contention

Angus Council has increased the amount of material recycled through its kerbside collections.
Angus Council has increased the amount of material recycled through its kerbside collections.

The planning application that launched a storm of protest against a proposed new recycling facility at Padanaram was due to a communication breakdown, a senior council officer has said.

Stewart Ball, senior service manager with Angus Council, confirmed the drawings and proposals which were published on the council’s website before Christmas, had appeared prematurely.

The documents, which detail the suggested closure of Forfar and Kirriemuir’s recycling centres and the opening of a new one at the village’s west end, sparked protests from Padanaram residents who up to that point had been unaware of the suggested scheme.

Mr Ball, speaking at Kirriemuir Community Council’s recent meeting, said: “The planning application that was submitted was maybe done ahead of when it should have been due to a breakdown of communication between two departments, and we apologise for that. It shouldn’t have happened and we’ve looked to our internal processes to make sure it doesn’t happen again. So saying, I think the way forward is a positive one.”

Mr Ball explained that a review of the county’s recycling facilities was prompted by a requirement to cut £1 million from his departmental budget. As part of that, the number and fitness for purpose of recycling centres was considered and neither Forfar nor Kirrie’s sites were considered to be suitable as modern recycling centres.

He added: “We’re looking to come out of two dated facilities that don’t provide a particularly good customer experience and invest around £1 million in the new site.”

But opponents to the proposals are not satisfied that the scheme complies with legislation and the council’s own local development plan.

Eleanor Feltham, chairwoman of the Padanaram Action Group, said: “How can you put this forward in such an area of 130 small rural, and mainly elderly households? It’s not appropriate. It’s not a case of ‘not in my back yard’, it goes further than that.”

Both Mr Ball and local councillor Iain Gaul emphasised that no decision has yet been taken and that if the Padanaram proposals are not approved, back-up options are available.