Worm farm could be built on Green Belt land in Welwyn Garden City

ANXIOUS residents have kicked up a stink about a proposed worm farm just 250 metres from their homes. Plans for the site on Green Belt land on the Great North Road, WGC, have upset neighbours. Fears of increased traffic, noise pollution, vermin, property

ANXIOUS residents have kicked up a stink about a proposed worm farm just 250 metres from their homes.

Plans for the site on Green Belt land on the Great North Road, WGC, have upset neighbours.

Fears of increased traffic, noise pollution, vermin, property values decreasing, poor security and the overall effect on wildlife, are just a few of the grumbles among objectors.

Great North Road resident Carolyn Green told the WHT that after researching the issue, they had discovered pollutant gases including methane and nitrous oxide were given off at wormeries.


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She said: "Current research into vermicomposting shows comparable gas emissions to any other kind of waste processing such as landfill.

"Before this kind of industry is placed in residential areas there needs to be a good deal more research to ensure the safety of residents and the local environment.

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"The experts are saying this type of waste processing has the potential to create significant levels of emissions and liquid effluent and is therefore potentially polluting."

The 40-year-old mum-of-two said she did not oppose worm farms themselves, but believed they should be sited in rural areas. She added: "It will be a sad day for the protection of Green Belt land in Welwyn Hatfield if this proposal goes ahead."

Darren Meads, of The Hollies, said the removal of growth around the area would mean further noise from the A1(M), along with additional noise from lorries going in to the site.

He also said the odours would be "intolerable".

Phil Hughes, also of The Hollies, said: "There will be a negative impact on the value of my property."

Planning consultant Chris Watts, who created the plans on behalf of John Thornton, said there would be no smell given off and no increase in large traffic. He said: "It's only a small scale project, with just two polytunnels.

"It has been designed for the sale of worms at fishing and angling shops.

"The idea is for people to bring their compost here, this will feed the worms and the worms will be sold.

"There will be no large HGVs and there is a height restriction for vehicles any larger than a van."

The polytunnels were in a position far away from any homes and he insisted: "There will be no smell, or disturbance and no vermin, as there will be no waste; it is not a waste disposal site.

Comments on the plans can be made to Welwyn Hatfield Council.

The application will be discussed by councillors at a date yet to be fixed.

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