MP rejects company’s offer of Knaresborough asphalt plant discussions
Last updated Nov 3, 2023
Andrew Jones.
Andrew Jones MP.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has turned down an invitation to meet the company behind plans to build an asphalt plant near Knaresborough and discuss his concerns about the proposals. 

Tynedale Roadstone wants to create the facility next door to the controversial incinerator at Allerton Waste Recovery Park (AWRP), but Mr Jones recently said the company had not done enough to allay worries about pollution, traffic movements, and the potential for ground water contamination. 

He also flagged concerns regarding the plant’s long operating hours and said that it would represent “industrial creep” – the gradual expansion of industry at a formerly rural site. 

Extending the invitation to Mr Jones, Lichfields, which is acting as planning consultant to Tynedale Roadstone, said the site was an appropriate location for the plant in part due to its proximity to the A1(M) and because it would deliver “sustainability advantages” by reusing one of the AWRP’s by-products.

In a statement, a spokesperson from parent company MGL Group said: 

“We are aware of some concerns regarding pollution, traffic movements, operational hours, dust, odour and noise.” 

They added: 

“The installation of the proposed asphalt plant at Allerton Park will be a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility that will meet stringent environmental, noise and emission criteria in the asphalt production process.

“Modern asphalt plants have extensive process filtration systems used with clean fuels to constantly maintain and monitor all the emissions from the production processes and ensure that they are kept within the correct protocol.” 

But Mr Jones replied to MGL, saying he was “not sure a meeting is necessary”. He told the Stray Ferret: 

“I share residents’ concerns about this proposal. Legally, councillors and planning officers have to consider the planning application that has been submitted. So, a private meeting between the applicants and me when a planning application is already live cannot change what is before us. And I believe what is before us is wrong.   

“The time to meet with me and local residents asking for our advice and views was before the application was submitted. That would have demonstrated a genuine interest in what we had to say. 

“So my preference would be for the application to be withdrawn and the applicant to hold face-to-face meetings with residents about their plans. My team and I will be happy to join those meetings. This would allow residents to have real input in a genuine consultation rather than the ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ approach which is where we seem to be now.”

The MGL spokesperson said the technical material supporting the planning application concluded there would be no significant environmental effects as a result of traffic movements, dust, odour, and noise, “subject to best practice measures being employed at the site”.

They added:

“Both we and Lichfields continue to work with North Yorkshire Council and are committed to alleviating concerns and addressing any comments made on the application.”

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