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Nottingham

New recycling centre for Rushcliffe delayed as review stalls

Nottinghamshire County Council says it wants to ensure a recycling centre review provides the “right plan” before it makes a decision on a potential new site in Rushcliffe.

The Conservative-run authority approved a root-and-branch review of its seven countywide sides in January 2022.

The decision was taken by the now-disbanded transport and environment committee to ensure the county’s 12 sites are “fit for the future”.

It followed council concerns some sites may be experiencing “operational difficulties” because they are approaching full capacity.

Within this review, plans for a new recycling centre in Rushcliffe were due to be discussed, with a potential site in Cotgrave initially outlined.

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However, the authority has since said the Cotgrave site – the exact location of which has not been publicly revealed – is no longer acceptable to meet the needs of the borough.

The outcomes of the review have since been delayed while the council awaits the passing of the Environment Act through Parliament.

A new strategy into resources and waste is also being drawn up nationally and the council says it is not in a position to finalise its own countywide review.

The review was initially due to take three months but has been put back, with a council committee asking for a full update to be provided in July.

Now the council’s cabinet member for transport and environment has said the authority wants to ensure it has the “right plan” for the Rushcliffe borough.

Cllr Neil Clarke (Con) told the authority’s full council meeting on Thursday (March 30) “It’s not possible to finalise our recycling centre review or complete a refresh of our strategy within our original timescales.

“We will continue with the review and announce our proposals as soon as possible.

“This review is for the whole of Nottinghamshire, the outcomes of the review will cover all of the county and not just Rushcliffe.

“But it is certainly important to ensure we put the right plan in place for the Rushcliffe area.

“If that means taking longer to fully incorporate these factors, it’s better we do that properly than implement the wrong solutions quickly.”

His comments follow council papers revealing early recommendations for the Nottinghamshire review had been set out by a consultant.

These were due to be fed back through a cabinet briefing in January 2023 but have not yet been published by the authority.

It led to Cllr Francis Purdue-Horan (Ind), who represents Bingham on the authority, asking for an update from Cllr Clarke in Thursday’s meeting.

Cllr Purdue-Horan said: “We have been promised a recycling centre in the Rushcliffe area for more than six years.

“Rushcliffe’s recycling rate has taken a massive hit.

“Can Cllr Clarke tell me when he first became aware the Cotgrave site was deemed to be unsuitable?”

In response, Cllr Clarke said: “I can’t remember at all, I don’t take dates of every conversation I’ve had with every officer and I don’t believe anybody else does either.”

The review was commissioned following concerns about operational issues at some of the 12 countywide sites.

A 2022 report revealed some hubs were “operating at capacity” and some were experiencing issues with their locations.

The authority has previously said the review “absolutely isn’t about reducing provision”.

Instead, it says the review is assessing whether facilities are “appropriately located” and have enough capacity to “offer residents a high-quality service”.

The council expects the review to recommend the “optimum number and locations” for future sites.

An update on the review has been requested by the place select committee at its next meeting on July 5.

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